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The Basics of Good Communication

Communication is the most important of all the soft skills. It is a valuable basic life skill and affects every area of our lives. It enables success at work and in relationships with family and friends. It’s our ambition at True North Homeschool Academy to help you teach those critical and practical life skills, so, of course, communication skills are of the utmost importance to us. Through the years, we have discovered and utilized many resources that we will share right here!

An orange megaphone on an orange background depicts how communication is key to success.

Four Essential Types of Communication:

  • Verbal – Verbal communication skills are ranked first among a job candidate’s “must-have” qualifications.
  • Written – This type of communication is essential both for business and enjoyment.
  • Non-verbal –  Non-verbal communication includes things such as the way we dress, signals, and body language.
  • Emotional – Emotional communication skills vastly improve both business and personal relationships.

Let’s Break Down Each Type of Communication:

Verbal Communication Skills

We are all familiar with verbal skills: this includes how well you speak or write, how concise you are in conveying your message, and how winsomely persuasive you are during verbal interaction. There are four types of verbal communication. They are:

  • Intra-personal Communication – This form of communication is extremely private and restricted to ourselves. This can include private journaling, our thought process, and even metacognition. Positive self-talk is an important skill your child can learn that will help them through difficult times when they may be tempted to dwell on negative thoughts. Check out our Affirmation Cards to keep positive thoughts flowing!
  • Interpersonal Communication – This form of communication takes place between two individuals and is thus a one-on-one conversation.
  • Small-Group Communication – This type of interaction takes place amongst a small group.
  • Public Communication – Speaking to a large group publically or even public writing can be considered as part of this form of communication. Our excellent Speech Club is a resource for teaching students to speak and gain the confidence to participate in public speaking.
Written Communication Skills in Business
  • Transactional Written Communication – This is a message sent to get results.
  • Informational Written Communication – In this type of business communication, the sender is delivering a message for the receiver’s benefit. Since this is less dependent on the receiver, there is no response needed. If the receiver has questions or concerns that would bring the conversation back to transactional communication.
  • Instructional Written Communication – This message gives receivers directions for a specific task.
Written Communication for Entertainment
  • Plays
  • Poetry
  • Novels
Non-Verbal Communication

Instead of written or oral words, non-written communication relies on non-verbal cues like physical movement, symbols, signals, etc. to express feelings, attitudes, or to give information. These most often include:

  • Eye Contact
  • Dress
  • Facial Expressions
  • Gestures
  • Posture and Body Orientation
  • Space and Distance
  • Touch
  • Silence
Emotional Communication

Blonde woman in a yellow field of flowers using body language to communicate.Depending on how and where you were raised, you may express some emotions differently. Factors that can affect our emotional communication include gender, social morays, and more. Here we will consider six basic feelings:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Surprise

Emotion is commonly expressed with:

  • Facial Expressions (such as smiling)
  • Body Language (using a relaxed stance)
  • Tone of Voice

Now that we have broken down the primary forms of communication, you can see that excellent communication is a worthy goal. Skills like how to communicate with one another have a massive payoff in our work and personal lives.  Be sure to include projects and lessons that will help your child learn to express themselves in your home and your homeschool.

What are the vital communication skills to teach your kids, regardless of age?
  1. Basic etiquette and Good Manners
  2. Netiquette (good manners and thoughtfulness online)
  3. The Art of Small Talk  (conversational skills like simple jokes and stories)
  4. Name Emotions (pointing these out to your children will help them to identify and deal with them readily)
  5. Help Them Set Goals (knowing their end game will allow them to communicate effectively in any situation)
  6. Show Them How to Evaluate (and then use the most effective form of communication)
  7. Mindfulness (let them know it is ok to “push the pause” button and be mindful of themselves and others)
  8. Awareness (help them become aware of their nonverbal communication)
  9. Active Listening Skills ( they can become engaged and active listeners)
  10. The Capacity to Communicate with Self-confidence and Humility
  11. Identify and Understand (so they can empathize with the emotions of others and deal with their feelings as well)

We all need to be able to express thoughts and feelings well and accurately. We are so confident that communication is an essential soft skill that it is central to many of the resources you will find on our website or at the Soft Skills 101 Podcast.

It’s easy to fall into the idea that these types of soft skills are just something we are good at or not! But that’s not true – everyone can learn to be better at these types of things. Like we mentioned, soft skills like communication make our lives and relationships better! In this digital age, as careers and our workforce continues to change, the human touch of excellent communication becomes even more valuable. Take a quick look at some of our ideas and resources (listed & linked below), and as always, let us know how we can support you in your homeschooling!

Want support in teaching your kids communication skills?

Listen on your favorite app or visit the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Website for more discussions about teaching our children and check out our Podcasts on Communication:

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