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Before you listen to an expert talking about communications skills, read the following statements and decide if they are true or false.

1. We generally find it easier to talk to people who appear very different from ourselves.
2. When talking to someone you’ve never met before, it’s a good idea to ask as many questions as possible.
3. If you look into a stranger’s eyes for too long, they might get the wrong message.
4. When complaining, don’t be distracted by listening too closely to what the other person is saying.
5. It’s a good idea to summarise and clarify the other person’s point of view at the end of your complaint.
6. Most of us naturally have good communication skills

Now listen and check your answers.

Answers Check your answers.

Listen again and write one word in each space to complete the transcription. Use the pause button on your media player to give you time to write.

People often have problems communicating in situations where they’re unsure of the people they’re talking to. So for instance you’re at a party and there’s a room full of strangers, people you’ve never met before, that generally, for most people, would be difficult situation.

Another area is where people are of what they’re talking about, so the worries them for whatever reason. A few years ago, I had to give a presentation and I wasn’t very familiar with the subject. It was a disaster!

And the area is where we’re in a situation of speaking to an audience who we perceive as being very different to us. Different in terms of their age, their experience or their or .

Let’s take the party scenario for example. Suppose you’re introduced to someone, eer... again a you’ve never met them before and you don’t know them. You’re introduced to them and from the introduction you gather that they are actually quite an important person, that they’ve got high status, they’re very experienced, they’re much older than you, and all of a sudden you think ‘My God, why would they possibly want to listen to me?’ and we feel totally in .

Now, one of the most common mistakes in this situation would be that the person would want to speak too much, but what they really in that situation is asking some questions to get the other person talking to them. Not too many questions, because if we ask too many questions it sounds like an , but getting the balance right between giving some information but also asking for information as well through questioning.

Probably one of the other things they would do in this situation would be that they wouldn’t enough. They wouldn’t stop to allow the other person to what they’ve said and to give them time to think about what they’re going to say next, and, of course, time to on what is being said to them. So that would be something we need to be careful of and to always remember that when we when we communicate, it may seem quite a long time to us, but it probably won’t to the person we’re speaking to.

Moving on to the subject of eye contact, if we don’t look at someone, they think they can’t trust us or that we’re not , so eye contact is very important. We’ve got to make sure we get it right….if we give too much, they could that we like them a little too much, or maybe we’re being a little aggressive towards them. So we’ve got to get the eye contact about right, about three seconds in general is about right before we move away from the face and then come back to the eyes.

Now, as far as making complaints are concerned, I know this may be for some people, and I think it’s very common to feel uncomfortable about making a complaint. Probably one of the most common things that people do in that situation is they’re far too much, so they become very unclear about the nature of the compliant… they’re not precise enough and they may well be tempted to speak far too quickly as well because actually we want to get to the end of the complaint because we don’t particularly like complaining .

We may also of not listening enough to what the other person has said because actually we may be becoming emotional too, and therefore we listen less actively to what the other person’s saying to us, and they in turn may not listen very well to us either. So the whole complaint may become totally and we may end up completely falling out with one another. So, that’s probably why complaints can be very difficult to .

To complain successfully, the first thing to do is to think and plan how you’re going to . So don’t go straight into it. A lot depends on the way that you say it, so you’ve really got to think and consider what needs to be said. Make sure the sentences are short. Take out any language which could be seen as being and to the other person. And then wait and be prepared to get a response from the other person who you’ve made the complaint to – and really listen, actively, to what they’re saying and summarise or test your understanding of what they’ve said to make sure you totally understand their of .

Now, in order to , think of it as being a... a restating, in a more compact form, what the other person has said to you, so that you’ve included all the key things, the important points, and make sure that you’ve understood exactly what they’ve said to you. So restating, , in a more compact and concise form, what was said to you before.

It’s important to remember that whatever situation we’re in we always have to deal with people, and we have to communicate with people. And if we’re going to get the best out of people and successfully, whether it be at work or in a social situation, we need to have good communication skills and we mustn’t think that good communication skills are something that we all naturally have. It’s something that we all need to to make sure that we build good relationships.

Now listen again and read the transcription.

Answers Check your answers with the complete transcription.

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