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Dated November 16, 2005

(Questions answered on career concerns)

How can I develop my verbal communication skills? What kind of books can I read to enhance these skills?

Mohan Kumar
Trivandrum

Good communication skills essentially include your ability to deal with people from various walks of life, on a one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many basis.

To improve your verbal skills, try to inculcate the habit of reading books, newspapers, magazines, etc., in short, any printed matter, and attempt to learn something new from it. Engage in conversations with people who communicate well.

Pay attention to the nuances of conversations. Learn to participate, listen and offer inputs at the right time. Do not let a few beginners' glitches put you down.

Remember, non-verbal communication skills are just as essential as verbal communication skills. No matter where you are, or where you want to be, you need good verbal and non-verbal communication skills to succeed.

If you're an extrovert, focus on using your listening skills, listen to what the other person is saying and think before you respond.

Don't assume that silence means agreement, in meetings be sure to ask others if they agree and wait for their answers.

Realise that some people need to reflect before answering, give them a chance to respond; do not feel that you need to fill every moment with words.

If an introvert, practice speaking in meetings, express your opinion and share your ideas.

Try to develop your nonverbal communication skills, use appropriate gestures to convey the right message, any action will make you part of the conversation.

Do not feel that your contribution is not important, try to express your ideas even if they are not fully developed. Understand that some people prefer to hear it said.

The FAQ column deals with career concerns addressed to the C&K Management Ltd. P.O. Box 2178, Secunderabad 500003 or emailed to faqs@cnkonline.com

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