Development Cooperation Handbook/Communication Skills
Communication planning is indeed important; but it not sufficient for a successful communication. A specific communication skill is required in order to achieve the communication objective. (see ⇒ Cooperation and Communication)
In order to build trust, solidarity and consensus among colleagues, partners and external stakeholders, a specific "communication skill" is required, which is perhaps the most authentically human competence among all professional skills.
Although a certain amount of "craft" is an advantage, communication skill is not a technical competence, but rather an "art", based on the capacity to listen, to be open to others, to value spontaneity and creativity. It is the capacity to enable the others to make informed judgments. This requires an inquisitive and dialogical spirit; a person confident in oneself and interested in nurturing the confidence in the others.
Such faculties cannot be acquired by learning; they result from an authentic life of search for oneself, of service to one's community and of devotion to justice and peace. And what can make a speech charismatic or an article inspiring cannot be listed out as the ingredients for cooking a cake. Still we collected in this handbook the memo lists of those who tried to improve their communication skills and that can be consulted as a sort of "checklist" to review ones stand and approach in communication.
Subsections of this chapter 
- Listening and Feedback
- Addressing misunderstanding
- Asking questions
- Do not be judgmental, lest…
- Encouraging Openness
- Communicating Credibility
- Building a Climate of Trust
- Behaviors that Endanger Trust
- Factors that may block the flow of information
- How to present an idea
- Guidelines to Project Managers on Effective Writing