It is rare to find someone with good technical and communication skills. You can get far ahead of your colleagues if you combine the two early in your career. People will judge, evaluate, promote or block you based on your communication skills. Since habits form by repeating both good and bad forms of communication, learn to observe great communicators and adopt their styles and traits — in written and verbal forms. The art of listening and learning from each and every interaction is another secret recipe. Develop the subconscious habit of listening to yourself as you speak and know when to pause.
Learning what not to say is probably more important than learning what to say. As your career develops, you will realize that the wise speak less. Speak when you have value to add, else refrain. Poorly constructed emails with grammatical errors are acceptable between friends, but they should be seriously avoided while communicating formally with your seniors. Avoid any communication in an emotional state when might say things you will regret later. One unnecessary word uttered at the wrong time or place can ruin a relationship, career or even your life. Such is the power of words. If such a thing happens, you should immediately apologise, else it may haunt you for life.
Another problem to overcome is speaking too fast. Since our minds are working faster than our speech, we are inclined to speak fast. This does not necessarily mean that the person hearing it will get it any faster. On the contrary, it is always the reverse. So slow down and think before you speak. “When I get ready to speak to people,” Abraham Lincoln said, “I spend two-thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one-thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one-third thinking what I want to say.” Adding humour and wit is also essential. But realize that not all jokes are funny and observe certain boundaries. Never say anything that could offend. Remember you are not a comedian who must offend as many people as you can to be witty.
2.1 Answer the following questions briefly:
(a) Why is it necessary to have good communication skills?
(b) How can communication skills be developed?
(c) What, according to the writer, should be avoided while communicating?
(d) Why should you be careful when you tend to be humorous?
2.2 Choose the most appropriate meanings of the given words from the options provided:
(a) evaluate (para 1)
(b) trait (para 1)
(c) utter (para 2)
(d) haunt (para 2)
(a) It is necessary to have good communication skills because one’s career can be benefited from them. People also judge, evaluate, promote or block others on the basis of their communication skills.
(b) To improve communication skills, we must observe great communicators and adopt their styles and traits. Apart from this, we should also learn from social interactions, listen to ourselves as we speak and know when to pause while communicating.
(c) Grammatical errors while communicating formally should be avoided. Any kind of communication in an emotional state is also undesirable because there is a danger of saying things which one may regret later. The writer also warns against speaking too fast as it may confuse the listener.
(d) According to the writer, adding humour and wit to communication is essential. But one should be cautious of overstepping boundaries and offending people.
(a) – (i) estimate
(b) – (iii) quality
(c) – (ii) speak
(d) – (iii) trouble