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4.2 Using your communication skills

In the next activity you’ll think about how you have recently used communication skills.

Activity 4 Communication today

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes for this activity.

Draw a table like the one below, with three columns and the headings: ‘Activity’, ‘Example of my communication’ and ‘Type of communication’.

Now think about what you have done so far today. If you are working on this course early in the morning, think about what you did yesterday.

Write down the first six things you did using any of the communication skills discussed so far. Use a separate line for each activity. For each item, say how communication was involved. Finally, what type of communication were you using?

Below are two examples to get you started.

Table 1 Examples of the ways we communicate every day
Activity Example of my communication Type of communication
Made breakfast Asked my wife if she would like a cup of coffee Verbal. Used gentle tone of voice.
Drove to work Raised hand to thank another driver who let me into traffic Body language

Discussion

By seeing communication in terms of a set of skills, it becomes far more possible to review and to change how we communicate. It is possible to break these skills down into three groups:

  • the words, or language, that we use to communicate
  • the body language and other non-verbal communication
  • the impact of our communication on other people.