Development Cooperation Handbook/Communication Skills
Communication planning is indeed important; but it is not sufficient for successful communication. Specific communication skills are required in order to achieve communication objectives. (see ⇒ Cooperation and Communication)
In order to achieve the communication objective and build trust, solidarity and consensus amongst colleagues, partners and external stakeholders, specific "communication skills" are required. And amongst all professional skills, these skills are perhaps the most authentically a human competence.
Although a certain amount of "craft" is an advantage, communication skills are 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 others to make informed judgments. This requires an inquisitive and dialogical spirit; a person confident in oneself and interested in nurturing the confidence in 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 ingredient for cooking a cake. However, we still tried to collected and share, in this handbook, the memo lists of those that have tried to improve their communication skills. These lists could be consulted as a sort of "checklist" to review one's 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