Communication Skills


Are you sending and receiving accurately?

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Regardless of the size of your organization – whether it's a large corporation, a small company, or even a home-based business – you need good communication skills if you want to succeed.

With more than 75 individual articles, this communication mini-site teaches you these skills.

We start by looking at the core ideas behind successful communication, and we offer a brief quiz that helps you evaluate your current skills.

We follow by looking at how you can plan an impressive communication, and we then explore how you can communicate successfully in the many different situations that you'll encounter in the workplace.

Use the "Browse by Category" box to target specific communication skills, or look through the list below to find interesting topics. Enjoy using Mind Tools!

How Good are Your Communication Skills?  
Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading Effectively

Planning and Structuring

Communications Planning  
Getting the Right Message Across, in the Right Way

Monroe's Motivated Sequence  
Perfecting the Call to Act

The Rhetorical Triangle  
Making Your Writing Credible, Appealing, and Logical

The Communication Strategy Framework  
Planning How to Communicate Clearly

The 7 Cs of Communication  
A Checklist for Clear Communication

The Communication Cycle  
Six Steps to Better Communication

Jargon Busting  
Communicating Without Creating Barriers

Creating a Value Proposition  
Simply and Clearly, Communicate the Benefits of Your Product, Service or Idea

Business Storytelling  
Using Stories to Inspire

Chunking  
Grouping Information So That It's More Easily Understood

Questioning Techniques  
Asking Questions Effectively

Developing Surveys  
Asking the Right Questions the Right Way

Keep It Simple  
Avoiding Confusion and Complexity

Developing Good Customer Relationships  
Building Trust and Goodwill With Customers

Managing Conferences and Events  
Planning Successful Events

10 Common Communication Mistakes  
Avoiding Communication Blunders and Misunderstandings

Communicating in Person

Making a Great First Impression  
Getting off to a Good Start

Impromptu Speaking Skills  
Preparing for Last-Minute Opportunities

Building Good Work Relationships  
Making Work Enjoyable and Productive

How to be Tactful  
Responding With Diplomacy and Grace

Body Language  
Understanding Non-Verbal Communication

Mehrabian's Communication Model  
Learning to Communicate Clearly

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)  
Achieving Excellence in Communication

Assertiveness  
Getting What You Want or Need By Working With People, Not Against Them

Developing "Character"  
Learning How to Stand Your Ground

How Good are Your Listening Skills?  
Understanding Someone's Entire Message

Active Listening  
Hear What People are Really Saying

Empathic Listening  
Going Beyond Active Listening

Thinking on Your Feet  
Staying Cool and Confident Under Pressure

Using the Phone Effectively  
Etiquette and Best Practices

Working With the Media  
How to Make a Good Impression

Consultative Selling  
Meeting the Needs of Your Potential Client

Feedback

How Good is Your Feedback?  
How Good is Your Feedback?

Giving Feedback  
Keeping Team Member Performance High, and Well-Integrated

Getting Feedback  
Taking Responsibility for Your Performance

Giving Praise  
Recognizing Good Work

360-Degree Feedback  
Encouraging Teamwork and Improving Performance (Sometimes!)

Feedback Matrix  
Using Feedback Constructively

The Losada Ratio  
Balancing Positive and Negative Interactions

Managing Complaints and Feedback  
Using a Closed-Loop Feedback Process

Stop – Keep Doing – Start  
Simple Questions for Improving Performance

The Situation – Behavior – Impact Feedback Tool  
Providing Clear, Specific Feedback

Meetings

Running Effective Meetings  
Establishing an Objective and Sticking to It

Writing Meeting Notes  
Creating Effective, Actionable Records

Running Teleconferences  
Chairing Effective Phone Meetings

Planning a Workshop  
Organizing and Running a Successful Event

Planning an "Away Day"  
Getting the Most from Your Off-site Meeting

Icebreakers  
Getting Everyone to Contribute at the Start of a Successful Event

The Role of a Facilitator  
Guiding an Event Through to a Successful Conclusion

Dialogue Mapping  
Bringing Order to Chaotic Meetings

Managing Conflict in Meetings  
Handling Disagreements on the Spot

Company Town Hall Meetings  
Communicating to a Large Audience

Running Successful Webinars  
Bringing Online Learning to Life

Presentations

How Good Are Your Presentation Skills?  
Understanding Your Impact

10 Common Presentation Mistakes  
Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Your Presentation

Better Public Speaking  
Becoming a Confident, Compelling Speaker

Delivering Great Presentations  
Communicating Effectively With the Right Delivery, Content, and Slides

Creating Effective Presentation Visuals  
Connecting People With Your Message

Speaking to an Audience  
Communicate Complex Ideas Successfully

Managing Presentation Nerves  
Coping With the Fear Within

Crafting an Elevator Pitch  
Introducing Your Company Quickly and Compellingly

How to Structure a Presentation  
Choosing the Best Format for Your Audience

Communicating in Writing

Writing Skills  
Getting Your Written Message Across Clearly

Writing Effective Emails  
Getting People to Read and Act on Your Messages

Writing Reports  
Using the Business Report Format

Charts and Graphs  
Choosing the Right Format

AIDA: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action  
Inspiring Action with Your Writing

Using Twitter for Work  
Using Social Media Effectively

Using LinkedIn™ Effectively  
Growing Your Professional Network

Using Instant Messaging (IM) Effectively  
Dos and Don'ts for Quick Communication

Eight Strategies for Effective Email  
Communicating With Grace and Efficiency

Writing a Blog  
Exploring Ideas in Your Industry

How to Create a Wiki  
Setting up a Collaborative Online Workspace

Negotiation, Persuasion and Influence

Win-Win Negotiation  
Finding a Fair Compromise

Integrative Negotiation  
Negotiating a "Win-Win" Solution

Lewicki and Hiam's Negotiation Matrix  
Choosing the Best Bargaining Strategy

Distributive Bargaining  
Negotiating When You Can't Both Win

"Yes" to the Person, "No" to the Task  
Asserting Yourself While Maintaining Relationships

Powers of Persuasion  
Understanding the Dos and Don'ts of Persuading

The Persuasion Tools Model  
Finding the Right Negotiation Style

The Five Canons of Rhetoric  
Crafting Clear and Effective Communications

The Influence Model  
Using Reciprocity to Gain Influence

Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence  
Convincing Others to Say "Yes"

Minority Influence Strategy  
Changing People's Minds... Despite the Odds

Blanchard's ABCD Model of Trust  
Strengthening the Four Elements of Trust

Establishing Credibility  
Inspiring Trust in Others

Yukl and Tracey's Influencers  
Choosing How to Influence Others

The Conflict Layer Model  
Clarifying Needs During Negotations

Difficult Communication Situations

Transactional Analysis  
Learning the Secret Games People Play

Role Playing  
Preparing for Difficult Conversations and Situations

Delivering Bad News  
Communicating Well Under Pressure

Opening Closed Minds  
Getting Past an Initial "No"

How to Handle Criticism  
Accepting Feedback With Good Grace

Dealing With Unfair Criticism  
Responding Calmly and Rationally to Unwarranted Criticism

Conflict Resolution  
Resolving Conflict Rationally and Effectively

Communicating in a Crisis  
Don't Shut Down Communication

Letting People Go  
Terminating Employment Honestly, Respectfully and With Dignity

Dealing With Unhappy Customers  
Turning a Challenge Into an Opportunity

Dealing With Angry People  
Learning how to Defuse Tense Situations

Bell and Hart's Eight Causes of Conflict  
Understanding the Causes of Workplace Tension

Dealing With Unreasonable Requests  
Asserting Yourself Effectively

Confidentiality in the Workplace  
Understanding Your Obligations

Working With People You Don't Like  
Improving Bad Working Relationships

How to Apologize  
Asking for Forgiveness Gracefully

Understanding Others Better

The Johari Window  
Using Self-Discovery and Communication to Build Trust

Perceptual Positions  
Seeing Other Points of View

Concept Attainment  
Reaching a Shared Understanding

The Betari Box  
Linking Attitude and Behavior

Empathy at Work  
Developing Skills to Understand Other People

Self-Disclosure  
Connecting With Honest, Personal Communication


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