8 Tips for Effective Communication Skills for Teachers

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”

— Ralph Nichols

effective communication for teachers

We’ve all had teachers who were considered “brilliant” but who, nevertheless, were a bore in class or who were unable to engage the students in the classroom. Sharpen your effective communication skills in the classroom and watch how your students become more engaged and your classroom a more fun place to learn!

 

  • Listen: No matter how many years of experience you have don’t always assume that you know what is going on through your student’s head. If you’re not having the results you expected with your pupil, it may be you overlooked something that you could easily resolve just by asking and listening.
  • Describe Clear Goals: make sure you communicate a clear vision of the objective you wish your students to achieve. If you see any puzzled looks from the class, explain again, or ask one of your students to explain in their own words what they understood is the purpose of the lesson (project, homework, term, or whatever the issue at hand is) so you can double-check if everyone is on the same page.
  • Give praise: everyone likes to hear they’re doing a good job and your students are no different. If you see someone having real difficulty with a specific subject it is especially helpful to praise even small improvements, as it will motivate your student to keep pushing forward towards the goal. Don’t be cheap with your kind words!
  • Be accessible: you have an important job to do and your students depend on you for their learning process. Let them know you care by offering a designated time during the week where they can meet with you or talk over the phone or Skype for any questions they may have regarding class work. You can also give them a special email address you have set up for this purpose or create an online forum for open questions. You don’t have to offer “24-7 service” but make sure they can reach you if they need to.
  • Build teamwork: if your whole classroom is working together to achieve similar goals it creates an environment that makes communication easier, it will help students help each other and build the camaraderie needed to make the classes run more smoothly.
  • Use humor: Sometimes humor can lighten up the mood and be the lube that keeps the gears moving smoothly in your classroom. This does not mean you have to turn your lecture into standup comedy –unless, of course, you teach standup comedy!- but keep things light and have a little fun. A little humor can even get your students to do a task that may not be their favorite.effective communication in the classroom
  • Embrace Variety: it really is the spice of life and routines are a mood killer. So introduce new tools in your teaching repertoire: use role-play, bring an expert, do an interview, prepare a debate or make your students research and teach the subject. Non-stop lectures will only make whatever you’re teaching less memorable for students.
  • Keep it real: it’s easier to learn something new when you understand how it relates to your life. So next time you tackle a new subject show your students how they can find evidence of how they can use the new information in their life or how it relates to their daily activities. It’s amazing when they understand how things in art and history, for example, can influence fashion or buildings, or how math helps to build bridges and statistics are used in polls. Be creative!

Also, check out these great books:

104 Activities That Build: Self-Esteem, Teamwork, Communication, Anger Management, Self-Discovery, Coping Skills Teaching Children Compassionately: How Students and Teachers Can Succeed with Mutual Understanding

 
Watch this video where students are asked “What Makes a Good Teacher?”

Other Resources:
What makes a great teacher?

Effective Communication in the Workplace

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”              -Dale Carnegie (author, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”)

Most probably, you spend most of your waking hours at work, so why not make those hours more enjoyable?

Practicing effective communication skills in the workplace creates a more positive and encouraging atmosphere for both employers and employees. This reduces the stress and frustration that many workers feel, while increasing their productivity and morale.

Teamwork_Effective Communication Workplace

Happy and productive employees will have a direct and positive impact on the business’s bottom line!

How to Promote Effective Communication in the Workplace

  • Encourage an open environment where people feel comfortable enough to share doubts and concerns with the rest of the team. “Open-door” policy is more than just not closing the door. It is about ensuring that people feel that they really have access to your time and that their concerns will be met seriously.
  • Effective Communication at WorkTake the time to appreciate the efforts of others. It is said that the only way to get someone to do something is to make them want to do it too. One way to do that is by creating loyalty and people return loyalty when they feel respected and appreciated. Did someone do a great job? Tell them!
  • Make sure rules and expectations are understood and clear. When workers understand what the regulations for the workplace are and what is expected of them, it’s easier for them to “play by the book” and perform duties according to management’s expectations. Keeping channels of communication open, in case there is any doubt, also ensures effective communication in the workplace.


  • You don’t have to be friends, but you can be friendly. Isn’t it easier to work in an environment that’s positive, cordial and light? You don’t have to be best buds with everyone you work with but smiling and being friendly to your colleagues is one of the things you can do to keep you from dreading to go to work every day.
  • Recognize you are part of a team. It’s really difficult to meet company year-end goals and objectives if not everyone is aligned for the same purpose or if someone feels that their efforts are not appreciated. It takes two to tango, and in an organization, it usually takes many more to build a successful business. Know that and give credit where it is due.
  • Work on your presentation skills. Everyone can benefit from improved presentation skills. Wouldn’t you like to give and listen to more engaging presentations? .

Remember, it’s not just the manager’s job to promote effective communication at work; everyone at the workplace must assume this responsibility. After all, you all work there together!

How about an interesting book on improving communications in the workplace? (see also More Resources)

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7tBVjzIPgk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Other Useful Resources:
Monster.com Career Advice – Great Workplace Communication
CareerBuilder.com – Career Advice

What are the Keys for Effective Communication?

“First seek to understand, then to be understood”

– Stephen Covey (author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”)

Key to Effective Communication

Effective communication involves a lot more than just speaking clearly to your audience without nervously stuttering or writing an email without any spelling mistakes.

Read on to learn about the keys for effective communication:

Listening:

Probably the mosListening for effective communicationt important thing you should learn from this article is that in order to be a “super communicator” you must be a super listener. Effective communication has more to do with listening than any other thing. By this we mean REALLY listening: paying attention and caring for the other person’s needs so that you make sure your message (which can be a simple “uh-huh, I see what you mean.”) is relevant and helpful for them.

Some scholars call this “active listening”, which entails more than just scanning what you’re hearing for something that relates to a story YOU want to tell. Active listening shows that you genuinely care about what the other person or audience feels or thinks, and you can prove this by doing things like:

  • Give reassuring sounds and phrases, like “I see”, “aha”, “hmm, I understand”
  • Ask questions to clarify the issue and show your interest, and
  • Restate the issue to make sure you understood correctly and show that this is important to you.


Body Language:Body Language for Effective Communication

If you’re trying to come across as an assertive speaker but your hands are shaking, your voice cracks and your eyes are bouncing from one place to another, you can pretty much kiss that image of yourself goodbye.

Also, if you’re trying to make something sound really serious but you look like you’re about to burst into laughter, while twirling your hair around your finger like a 7-year old, nobody is going to take you seriously either.

Make sure the rest of your body is delivering the same message that comes out of your mouth.

And when you’re the one listening and can see the person who is doing the talking, pay attention! That person is sending out clues that well help you uncover the whole truth behind the story!

Emotional awareness:

nervous_barrier to effective communicationIt’s important to be aware of the emotions and attitudes that one is displaying when in the presence of someone else, too. Are you feeling nervous? Did you just hear something that made you angry or sad? How is that affecting they way you are delivering your message?

This is not about having to have a “poker face” during your entire conversation. It is about being aware of your thoughts and feelings so that you’re certain they do not get in the way of the message you are trying to communicate.

It is OK if, say, a particular story makes you sad and a little teary-eyed but if you’re sobbing uncontrollably others might become more concerned with making you stop than with what you have to say. Don’t distract them from what you consider is the really important issue.

Common language:common language for effective communication

Trying to ask for directions to a farmer in Italy when you only speak English and the farmer only speaks Italian constitutes a problem, for sure. But sometimes both people can speak the same language and still not understand each other’s words.

Make sure you only use slang or professional jargon if you are 100% sure everyone that is listening (or reading) can understand your words. Also, if you have a heavy accent that is unfamiliar to those around you, try to speak just a little slower…and stop talking and ask what is wrong if you start getting any puzzled looks!

Show some respect!

Make your mother proud and show some good manners when you speak AND when you listen.

Try your best to not interrupt, insult, scream, burp, pick your nose or teeth, roll your eyes, or make fun of the other person (although best friends can sometimes put up with a little teasing!).

You would be surprised to know how many people do not find these suggestions so obvious.

Continue on to these helpful posts to keep learning about how to communicate effectively:

In the end, the key to effective communication really boils down to listening. Listening with your whole body. Listening to what others have to say, but also to the clues that give insight to their thoughts and emotions as expressed in their body language or tone of voice. Also, listening to your own self and to what you are experiencing while you are communicating.

By being an active listener you can reduce misunderstandings and improve the chances that when it is your chance to speak, your message is heard and understood…as you wanted it to be!

 

Resources:

Wikipedia.com – Active Listening