Since the majority of our time is spent communicating with others, we must develop effective skills. The most important skill is the ability to listen. This goes beyond just giving the appearance of attention. We must be able to adopt the other person′s perspective in order to understand fully the message being sent. Because all meaning resides in people not in words, the ability to empathise with the sender is particularly valuable. The other significant aspect of communication is the non‐verbal message. Non‐verbal communication represents 55 per cent of the message and must be conveyed accurately in order to be effective. The verbal message must agree with the non‐verbal message if we are to have credibility. We must know ourselves, monitor our performance, and strive for accuracy and honesty in what we say and do. The rewards include more satisfying personal relationships and greater ease in accomplishing our personal goals.
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