Skills for Success: Communication

The Government of Canada recognizes that communication skills are important for developing good working relationships with co-workers and clients, including those from different backgrounds and cultures. The Skills for Success framework (previously called Essential Skills) consists of nine skills. The skill of communication helps people share information in a way that others can clearly understand, as well as enabling people to listen to, pay attention to, and understand others. Communication means, “your ability to receive, understand, consider, and share information and ideas through speaking, listening, and interacting with others.” With the right resources, we can learn how to apply communication skills in our work lives. To help support this essential skill, we have gathered resources on communication.

“At the top of the list of desirable soft skills is communication. Communication is at the heart of everything we do. Conveying your thoughts clearly and listening to the ideas of those around you is essential in almost every job and industry. Whether you’re giving a presentation, writing an email, or simply having a conversation, communicating well can make the difference in getting things done.” – University of Calgary Continuing Education

The video below offers an introduction to communication.

6 Components of Communication

The Skills for Success model divides communication skills into 6 parts:

  1. Listen with intention. While listening, consider the speaker’s language, gestures, emphasis and other verbal and non-verbal cues. Show the speaker you’re paying attention by maintaining focus on them, showing support or conveying emotion. Ask questions to confirm you understand.
  2. Listen to understand. Listen for the speaker’s purpose and intention. Fact check the speaker’s claims at an appropriate time. Interpret and reconcile different perspectives.
  3. Speak with clarity. When speaking use the appropriate grammar, pronunciation, cadence or rhythm for the situation.
  4. Speak with purpose. Depending on your goal, use the best examples, facts, content and structure to convey, explain or persuade. Ensure your message is communicated so that the listener understands your purpose.
  5. Adapt to your audience and contexts. There are times that different communication and interaction styles are needed based on the needs, preferences and interests of your audience. Understand the context and choose the best content, tone, language, gestures and approach for the situation.
  6. Adapt to other people’s communication preferences. Be ready to make use of different communication methods and tools. Choose the most appropriate content, structure and approach for your audience.

For more information on teaching workplace communication skills, check out the resources below.


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