I think that some of us take for granted that everyone is a good communicator. Most of the people around us are good at interacting with other people and can tell others what they want or need, exchange pleasantries, or simply ask questions. However, the past few months have shown me that not everyone has great communication skills.
I have had a few children in my coaching practice who find speaking to others, crippling. They don’t know what to say, they don’t have the confidence to speak up, and don’t use eye contact as well as they could. It got me thinking about the communication skills our children need to get on in life. And to some extent, be socially accepted.
I am not saying that children need to change who they are, but I think certain communication skills are needed for life.
Key Communication Skills
- To be able to go into a shop and ask for what you want.
- To say hello and thank you to service providers i.e. shop workers.
- To be able to question when something is not right or to ask for help.
- To be able to take part in a discussion and share your views, thoughts, and feelings.
- To show others that you are listening to them through verbal and non-verbal cues.
- To be able to stand up for yourself through words.
All the above are things parents and carers should be helping our children work towards. Help them to practice these skills using role-play or talking through their reaction to possible real-life situations. Help build their confidence by sending them on errands to the shops, involving them in discussions on current affairs, or point out how others use their communication skills as an example.
With a bit of practice, children’s confidence in their communication skills will grow quickly.