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Effective communication: An invaluable problem solving tool

Opinion & Analysis
Good communication skills are the bridge between confusion and clarity.

THE late American radio speaker and author Earl Nightingale once said that “successful people are not people without problems”. They are simply people who have learned to solve their problems, he said.

Good communication skills are the bridge between confusion and clarity. They are the road to personal and career success. In this article, we will discuss what it means to be a good communicator and how one can grow their communication skills. Good communication is nothing more than effective communication of our thoughts and ideas. The degree of our success is determined by the extent to which we can communicate our needs.

Effective communication is not just about being able to talk, but also about being able to express your thoughts and ideas with clarity and charisma. It is a skill that can be honed through regular practice and improvement. When communication is clear and concise, it leads to better understanding and reduces the likelihood of conflicts. Here are some habits to cultivate in order to become an effective communicator.

Be articulate

The majority of people fall victim to using filler words like “umm,” “like”, “you know”, which can be seen as a lack of confidence in what one is saying. Consider the ease with which your bones glide in their sockets, exhibiting a fluid articulation. Likewise, it is advantageous for our communication to emulate this. When one speaks articulately, their concepts are conveyed more effectively.

Pause before you respond

Oftentimes when faced with a question the immediate reflex is to respond. When we are quick to respond we may not give our mind enough time to formulate a thoughtful response. Rushing to answer could result in using filler words or stumbling over our words. Therefore, it is wise to take a brief pause to gather your thoughts before communicating your response.

Ask questions

“The ability to ask questions is the greatest resource to learning the truth,” said Carl Gustav Jung, the late Swiss psychiatrist. We cheat ourselves of learning opportunities whenever we shy away from asking questions. Both intelligent and seemingly stupid questions are worth asking. Curiosity is the ladder to knowledge, and thus it is better to know the answer to a seemingly simple question.


Writing is one of the best and oftentimes underappreciated tool that can sharpen our communication skills. Spend time writing out your thoughts and ideas. When we write we refine our ideas.

Actively listen

Instead of listening to respond, we should listen to understand. When we understand what is being communicated, it is easier to avoid conflict caused by misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

Identify your objectives and be concise

When our objectives are clear, it is more likely that we will get a satisfactory response. When we are concise, we are easier to understand and it decreases the likelihood of being misunderstood.

Be aware of your audience

Having an effective understanding of who you are communicating with, enables you to tailor your message to meet the needs of your target audience. The message you are communicating should be engaging. This helps to make sure that your message is received and understood in the way you intended.

In conclusion, it is essential to maintain a courteous demeanour while communicating with others. Remember, effective communication is a continuous journey that requires practice, patience and a genuine interest in connecting with others. By incorporating these habits into our daily interactions, we pave the way to success by developing an invaluable problem-solving asset.

Rutendo Kureya is a medical student at Saint Petersburg State Paediatric Medical University. She can be reached at [email protected]. Mobile: +7 996 274 98 66. She writes here in her personal capacity.

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