Modern generation has made young adults forget about face-to-face communication. Why do they need to go to their friends’ house if they can chat them in Messenger? There is no need to travel to other countries to talk to their relatives. You can do many through using your phone, computer or other gadgets.
Gallup found out, in 2014, that 34% of young adults use mobile devices to communicate. Texting is the best way for them to communicate. The results lower as people get older. Many older people do not use their cellphones when they want to communicate with other people.
Communicating through the use of devices really helps teenagers in so many ways. As a matter of fact, parents can benefit from it. They do not have to worry about their children going several miles away just to see their friends.
Furthermore, they can check on their children anytime and anywhere. Can modern age help in improving the communication skills of a child? Let us find out.
Effective Communication Skills in the Modern Day
How does technological improvement in the communication process affect young people? These are some of the impacts of modern-day creations on young adults’ communication skills:
Mobile devices cannot speak or make other people feel what a person wants to say. A person can actually consider a text message as a positive one even though the other person is mad or sad. There is no greater way of expressing what a teenager feels than talking with his friends in person.
Confusion happens when the receiver of a message cannot get the point of the sender. Many relationships did not grow because of this. Furthermore, a lot of people assume about something because they cannot see or hear the tone of the person they are talking to.
In the first effect, there is communication but there is no guarantee that it will be effective. In this next effect, technology increases the risk of having no communication at all. Children focus on their gadgets or mobile devices. At times, they do not see the need to have face-to-face communication. This results in the next effect.
Parents and children lose the sense of bonding through talking with each other or going out. The young adult stage is very crucial because of the challenges around and within himself. This is also the time when teenagers try to feed their curiosity. They try alcohol, drugs, sex and many more.
It is very important to have communication with your teen because it builds a stronger relationship. Without it, both of you will not properly express what you truly feel. Without it, your relationship will get weaker.
Teenagers do not enough time to interact with other people because of their mobile phones. Because of this, they get separated from others and usually just spend time in their rooms. They miss the fun of going out and talking to others. Your teenager will not find an actual friend when he is in need because his usual company is his mobile device.
People who communicate using devices are actually more careless than those who do not. They do not think about and know how the other person feels because they technically do not see each other. This results in online bullying which would affect the mental health of a teenager. Aside from this, children might apply bad behaviors so they will not be bullied next time. This will affect their social interactions in the future.
What is Effective Communication Skills?
We now know the positive and negative effects of communicating with no social interactions. The question is, what is effective communication skills? How can we make communication effective?
You can say that communication is good when both people share and understand a message. Communication is not just about talking but listening as well. It becomes effective when there is no confusion between the two people.
There are specific skills that are needed to become a successful communicator. It does not happen overnight but with practice and perseverance, nothing is impossible. Being an effective communicator changes many things in relationships, businesses, and even in simple social interactions.
Examples of Effective Communication Skills
Let us now talk about some examples of effective communication skills. These skills will help young adults to have a better manner of communicating with themselves, peers, parents and other people.
Example of Effective Communication Skills 1: CLARITY AND CONCISION
Clarity means having a clear manner of communicating based on the purpose of communication and the target audience. On the other hand, concision is about explaining or sharing information in a short but understandable manner. It refers to conveying the information in a shorter version without losing its real meaning.
Why do you need this?
Clarity and concision are important because they eliminate misunderstanding, make conversation shorter. These help both parties understand the information better. The longer the explanation is, the more it is prone to confusion.
Example of Effective Communication Skills 2: ACTIVE LISTENING
Communication is always two-way, which means one shares and the other one listens, and then vice versa. Now, active listening is more than just the “hearing” phase. It refers to focusing on what the speaker said and understanding what it really means. Active listening involves considering non-verbal cues from the speaker such as body movements, tone of voice, or eye contact.
Attention is the first step to show that you are listening actively. You can use body language to show that you are listening which includes nodding in agreement. Another way is to say your opinion or give feedback to the speaker. This is a great way to let the speaker know that you are really interested in the topic being shared.
Active listening is one of the skills that are not easy to build but then there are many ways to do it. There are effective communication skills training that focuses on active listening. More than that, parents and other family members can also help build and improve active listening.
Why is this important?
Active listening is one of the key reasons why relationships become stronger than ever. Everyone can listen but not everyone can listen attentively and actively. This skill shows how sincere a person is to understand the feeling or message of a speaker. Young adults can use this skill in schools, universities or with friends and parents. This will help them understand things better.
Example of Effective Communication Skills 3: NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
The most common way of communicating is talking, speaking, and writing. These are kinds of verbal communication. Another kind of communication is nonverbal which involves the use of other senses without using any word, spoken or written.
Examples of nonverbal communication are facial expressions, eye contact, body movements and many more. These examples provide meaning depending on what the sender wants to convey to the receiver. Nonverbal is often used when words are not enough to express what a person wants to share.
Why is it necessary?
Like what author Peter Drucker said, the most important thing about communication is hearing what is not said. Nonverbal communication is very important because it shows the things that cannot always be expressed in words like emotions.
In fact, nonverbal is a way of communication that cannot be faked easily. Most of the time, nonverbal communication shows the real feeling of a speaker. Some words do not go parallel with the nonverbal cues. For parents, nonverbal communication is a very effective way for them to know and understand what their children really feel.
Example of Effective Communication Skills 4: CONFIDENCE
Confidence refers to how you act when communicating, which involves assurance with what you are saying. To show confidence in communication, a person needs to have a stable and clear voice. A shaky and frail voice will not convince other people to believe in a person. Worse, it may even result in a longer conversation as confirmation from others is necessary.
Another way to show confidence is the use of eye contact. If you can look straight in the eye while you talk, it shows that you genuinely would want to communicate. Additionally, confidence is not just about showing authority or being able to present with assurance. Confidence is also about sharing with humor or saying sorry whenever needed in the conversation. It is about believing what you are saying for you to make others believe as well.
Why do you need confidence?
Young adults that are confident not only improve their communication but also their sense of self-worth. Confidence allows them to discover what they can and cannot do when communicating with other people. When they feel confident about what they want to share, they build the presence that results in making people believe in them.
Confidence makes communication effective because other skills like clarity and concision follow. Confidence is needed to convince others to listen and understand what a person is trying to say. It also develops the value of respect to both the speaker and the receiver.
Example of Effective Communication Skills 5: RESPECT
Respect when it comes to communicating means being open to what the speaker is trying to say and to what the receiver is capable of. When you are a receiver, you have to listen to what the speaker wants to say without showing you hate the conversation. When you allowed a person to talk to you, listen to him. This does not mean you cannot disagree because disagreements are also healthy in conversations.
When you are a speaker, you have to consider what your receiver is capable of understanding. Many things are affecting a conversation such as culture and background. Some cultures take pointing a finger bad and disrespectful. You have to research those things to avoid misunderstandings.
For young adults, respect goes a very long way especially with their relationships with their parents, professors and other people in authority. As a result, other people will respect them.
Why do you need respect in communication?
Respect matters because it is another way to bring young adults and other people together. In fact, respect makes the world a better place if all of us gives importance to applying it. Moreover, it allows everyone to develop better relationships and a good environment. Respect is important in making and sustaining connections.
Respect discourages negative feeling and is also the main element to avoid bullying and other bad habits. It makes people sensitive about what others might feel and of the effects of a certain word or action. Respect makes communication deeper and healthier.
Effective Communication Skills Training
There are different ways to build effective communication skills in homes, schools and other areas. At this point, we will talk about the pieces of training that might help teenagers.
Effective Communication Skills Training 1: BUSINESS
There is a certain manner of communicating in businesses and in the workplace. Written communication is very important to businesses. Some examples of it include sending business e-mails, reports, presentations, conducting meetings and negotiating with business partners or customers.
These things are the focus of this kind of training. People will get to learn the current state of businesses, trends, how people work and how to talk to them. This kind of training is important especially to those who are planning to have their own business or those who will be part of an established company.
Effective Communication Skills Training 2: SCHOOL/UNIVERSITIES
There are also pieces of training that focus on how students will enhance their communication skills in schools or universities. The basics of communications are taught with this kind of training. In addition, students will know about culture and background differences ad how these can affect their manner of communicating.
Aside from this, students will learn how to properly build relationships with their professors and other university staff or faculty. It is good for students to have this training early on so they could have better communication skills before exposure to the workplace.
Effective Communication Skills Training 3: HOME
This kind of training is usually done through the help of parents and other family members. There are also training providers outside like Risepreneur that allows parents to train children even inside their homes.
Role of Parents in Building Effective Communication Skills
Communication skills start at home even before a child learns to speak or talk. Babies communicate by crying, their body movements and other nonverbal cues. It is very important to start developing communication skills even at a very young age to avoid hardship later on.
Role 1: Recognize strengths and weaknesses
You have to understand that some children have a very short attention span. Know first what your child can and cannot do. Other children talk a lot and expresses themselves carelessly. Other children are not very open and like to spend time with themselves alone. This is important to know because this will determine the best way of communication you can use.
Role 2: Teach listening skills
Even though every child is different, the importance of listening skills does not change. You can have a quality time with your child to encourage listening skills. You can both read, talk about the day or ask each other about different topics. When your child is not that open, do not lose hope. The most important thing is for you to also show that you are willing to listen and give your opinion.
Role 3: Let your child talk
As a parent, you have your own values and it is given that you want the best for your child. But at this point, it is important to not judge your child with whatever he says. This will encourage a more open heart and the willingness to share what your child really feels. Give time to your child and allow him to speak even when you are busy with work or household chores.
Role 4: Be careful with your nonverbal cues
Aside from your words, your gestures, facial expressions and tone say a lot when you talk to your child. Do not always speak loudly because your child will immediately think you are mad and will stop talking. Even though you are mad, you can still talk nicely to your child. Choose the right words and say some empowering phrases to emphasize your point.
Role 5: Put your feet on your child’s shoes
Always think according to the point of view of your children. Teenagers start to think differently because of what they hear from their peers and the changes they experience in their bodies. Now, when you talk to your child, always try to understand where he is coming from. From this, you will know the right words to say.
Role 6: Shut your mouth when necessary
Most of the parents believe that they have the authority to talk when they want to because they are parents. But if you really want to build effective communication skills, you have to learn when and when not to talk. Do not force a conversation especially to a teenager. The more you force him, the more he will not talk to you. A teenager does not like being pressured.
Wait for your child to talk first before you start saying your opinion. In this way, you show respect to your child and encourage him to open up. It can be hard at first but be patient so you can help your child and your relationship grow later on.
Role 7: Give rewards
Rewarding is one of the ways to motivate and encourage your child to behave in a certain manner. If he practices active listening, give him some token of appreciation. If he finally opens up, go out with him and eat. Aside from this, you can also give positive feedback and praise so they would continue what they are doing.
Attention is the easiest but most effective type of reward. As mentioned above, attention is the first step of active listening. You might not realize this but children need your attention. Without it, your future relationship will not be developed or improved.
Role 8: Use own words to communicate
You can use other words that only you and your child can understand to build trust and encourage opening up. In this way, your young adult feels a sense of privacy with the situations he is trying to communicate. It is important to let him know that you are willing to do whatever it takes to maintain his trust in you.
Role 9: Ask questions and answer questions
Asking questions when talking to your child is also important to show that you are interested. Apart from this reason, you also want to understand the point of your child. Moreover, allow him to ask you questions and answer them honestly. Again, do not be judgmental but be an understanding parent.
Role 10: Set a good example
You cannot make your child communicate if you do not want to do it in the first place. The generation today is a busy one because everyone needs to earn money to support their families. But then, if you are a parent who works, do not allow it to destroy your relationship with your child.
Remember that if you sincerely want to communicate with your child, he will feel it. One good way is to always have eye contact with your child. Through this, you are letting him know that you are listening and that you are trying to understand him.
At the end of the day, parents have huge roles in developing the communication skills of young adults. A child’s communication starts from home so it is important to set a good example. There may be challenges along the way but what matters is how parents show support to their children.
Parents can also check out training centers that could help them with this. They should always remember that youngsters can still improve their skills.