A school is a place where students attain knowledge, but experiences there also never leave learners the same! Precisely, school or college experiences are key in shaping learners’ mindsets, soft skills, and interpersonal skills. Quality education can help learners to get the best knowledge, but it’s through co-curricular activities like debates, games, and interactions that produce a full-fledged knowledgeable person.
As we all know, in the professional sphere, technical skills are essential for winning a job, but soft skills like emotional intelligence and communication can keep one at a job or win one a promotion. With that, among all the key soft skills that students would want to develop or teachers to foster, communication should be among them.
Students who know how to express themselves, present their ideas, and speak their minds can be destined to become world changers. Moreso, they are usually independent thinkers, confident, and don’t rely on others to deliver their message. By the way, one should note that quality communication isn’t all about speaking one’s mind, but entails listening to others, introspecting oneself, and evaluating personal ideas with the available evidence among others.
Therefore, if you’re a student who wants to develop quality communication skills or a teacher who wants to help your students attain superior communication skills, here is how to go about it.
Top 7 Practices for Students to Enhance Their Communication Skills
1. Ensuring Active Listening
Communication generally means the transfer of information from one person or group to another. Commonly, many people believe that they are good communicators but may not be so. Effective communication is generally assessed during conversations. People who simply talk without assessing their message aren’t good communicators.
For decades, the 7C’s of communication have acted as a benchmark for effective communication. These aspects detail how quality communication flows whether in writing or verbally. Anyone, whether a student or a teacher can gauge their communication skills with these parameters.
Precisely, if you’re a teacher, try to show that listening is an important part of communication. Engage students in active listening sessions for example conversations and debates and then ask for feedback. This can help students become good communicators.
2. Create a Safe Learning Environment
Students commonly shy away from open conversations because they don’t feel safe speaking their minds or aren’t used to expressing themselves publicly. The more children grow up or the more students learn in environments that don’t support their communication abilities, this hampers their communication skills.
With that, in case you’re a teacher, create an environment where your students are free to speak. Push for activities that boost student confidence and the generation of fresh ideas. That’s generally because one can only speak what is in the mind.
3. Push for Teamwork
There are many students who would prefer to handle assignments individually, but this has a drawback. Collaboration is key to success and attaining sizeable goals. Moreso, Collaboration or teamwork helps learners achieve more knowledge and assess ideas.
With that, if you’re a student, try to team up with other students to handle assignments or projects where necessary. That’s because it can serve as a perfect add-on to the many soft skills to be learned in college and one that can help in the professional arena. For a teacher, try to push for teamwork because it helps students build and enhance their communication skills.
One of the best approaches to developing reliable communication skills is role-playing. The activity requires participants to imitate other people. Acting out a role whether in school plays or classroom fun activities can help enhance communication skills. Moreso, it can help prevent schools from killing creativity among students.
5. Cultivate a Culture of Feedback
Fostering a culture of feedback in a classroom can help students enhance their communication skills. Generally, by feedback sharing, teachers must share their feedback about student performance to motivate students. Also, teachers should ensure that negative feedback is shared constructively, but not in a demotivating manner.
On the other hand, asking for feedback from students about your teaching style as a teacher can help students understand how the communication cycle works. In the same way, they will treasure feedback whether positive or negative and this can help them develop reliable communication skills.
6. Help Students Share their Opinions
Whenever students are given a chance to share their ideas, this builds their confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, any student should endeavor to share their opinions wherever possible. On the other hand, teachers should create avenues where students can share their opinions, but in an ideal manner.
7. Create Public Speaking Avenues
Speaking in public is one of the best ways to build communication stamina. The more one speaks in public, the more they get rid of stage fright and glossophobia. To encapsulate, effective communication is characterized by an arsenal of soft skills. For example, the ability to listen, decipher and respond accordingly. Good communicators also display empathy and many other interpersonal skills that play a crucial role in their success. With that, students should try to enhance their communication skills where necessary and on the other hand, teachers should prioritize helping students in becoming good communicators.