Communication Skills: Become A Superstar Communicator
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Communication Skills: Become A Superstar Communicator

Transform the quality of your relationships by maximising the impact of your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Best Seller
4.2 (201 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,882 students enrolled
Created by Kain Ramsay
Last updated 2/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $155 Discount: 92% off
4 days left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 10 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Understand why good communication skills are important and beneficial.
  • Communicate your message in a way that is clear, concise and embraced by others.
  • Understand how to connect and interact with others in an interesting and engaging way.
  • Get the most positive outcomes from interviews, discussions & important communications.
  • Know how to deal with difficult conversations, give constructive criticism and handle complaints.
  • Transfer your ideas, information and emotions into the minds of others, with minimum error.
  • Use your new communication skills to build strong & meaningful relationships.
  • Understand the importance of body language and other paralinguistic aspects.
  • Achieve win-win situations when faced with arguments and challenges.
  • Ask concise questions that provoke honest and truthful responses.
  • Understand how to be assertive.
View Curriculum
  • The course gives an overview of some of the main communication styles found in the workplace and provides details on how you can improve your skills to get the best result each time. The course also uses some real-life examples of successful communicators to show how these new-found skills can be used to their greatest in the real world.
  • There are a range of downloadable worksheets and exercises throughout the course which will require access to a printer.
  • Upon completion of this communication skills training you'll go away with real skills that you can use immediately in your everyday life.

Being able to communicate effectively is a critical life skill that influences our degree of professional success, the stability of our family life, the quality of our social relationships & our own personal happiness.

Good communication skills are critical for virtually everything we do in life. Whether we're interacting with our friends, engaging with a social group or even delivering a professional presentation. Competent communicators will often enjoy the benefit of having more rewarding relationships with others.

The best communicators inspire and motivate people, help them to take effective action, and remove obstacles to their understanding. Communication skills are a core interpersonal skill, and by discovering how to improve ourselves in this area, we can expect the widest range of long and short-term benefits.

By the end of this course, learners will:

  • Understand why good communication skills are important and beneficial.
  • Understand the importance of body language and other paralinguistic aspects.
  • Know how to develop new habits that deepen connection and relationships.
  • Understand the common communicating blocks that damage relationships.
  • Communicate with greater confidence in a personal or professional context.
  • Know how to make explicit, interesting & engaging conversation with others.
  • Use metaphors/stories to connect with people in a more effective way.
  • Understand how to ask captivating questions that earn you better responses.
  • Give constructive feedback that wins you the respect of others.
  • Know how to deal with difficult or challenging conversations.
  • And much, much more...

This Communication Skills course is suitable for employers, managers, supervisors or anyone in a leadership role who wishes to improve their communication skills. The course is best suited to those who want to communicate effectively on a regular basis, as the skills and lessons can be actioned with confidence immediately.

The course gives an overview of many of the main communication styles and provides details on how you can improve your skills to get the best results in all of your future interactions. The course will provide you with a broad range of core communication principles; so that you can start communicating with greater confidence in every area of your life.

You'll learn practical strategies for more effective listening, how to ask more engaging questions and how to interpret the non-verbal signals of other people. Upon completion, you'll have everything you need to begin communicating with far more clarity, confidence, and persuasiveness.

'Communication Skills | Become A Superstar Communicator' comes with a Full Money Back guarantee, so join today, and discover how you can start experiencing far deeper connection through your communications.

Who is the target audience?
  • ENTREPRENEURS: Those who need to deploy effective communication skills in a business or professional context.
  • CEO'S AND MANAGERS: Those who operate in a role which demands strong communication skills to communicate clear messages.
  • HELPING SPECIALISTS: This course can be used as a practical tool for helping professionals, such as therapists, counsellors, psychologists, teachers, and social group leaders.
  • SALES PEOPLE: A Practical resource to help sales people build trust based relationships with their customers and clients.
  • HUSBANDS & WIVES: If you've been married for longer that 1 day, you'll know that there's plenty of room for improvement in our relationships!
  • STUDENTS: Including graduates and young professionals who want to develop strong communication skills before making their mark in the world.
  • ANYONE: Who's honestly able to recognise the truth that they haven't yet mastered the art of communicating.
Compare to Other Communication Skills Courses
Curriculum For This Course
61 Lectures
Welcome to Communication Skills: Become A Superstar Communicator
6 Lectures 30:52

Has there ever been a time when you intuitively felt that you lost out on something important, just because you unknowingly said something which may have turned somebody off from you?

Good communication skills are critical for virtually everything we do. Whether we're speaking to other people, engaging with a group or even delivering a presentation. Competent communicators will often enjoy more rewarding relationships with others.

Communication skills are a critical interpersonal skill and by discovering how to improve ourselves in this area, we can expect an ever increasing range of long and short-term benefits.

Having good communication skills is like an engine oil that makes your life run smoothly, getting you wherever you want to be. There are very few areas in life you can succeed in the long term without this crucial skill.

This fascinating course will provide you with a broad range of core communication principles; so you can start communicating with greater confidence throughout every area of your life.

You'll learn practical strategies better listening, how to ask more interesting questions and how to interpret the non-verbal signals of others. Upon completion, you'll have everything you need to begin communicating with far more clarity, confidence, and persuasiveness.

Preview 04:00

Communication is a critical skill for almost everything we do.

Whether you're speaking to another person or a group, giving a formal presentation, you're putting your communication skills to work. And rightly or wrongly, your arguments or ideas have a much greater impact if they're presented well, than what they will when they're performed poorly!

No matter how good we are - or think we are - at communicating, most of us can benefit from paying regular attention to this. When we keep our communication skills in absolutely tip-top condition, we see improvements in the effectiveness of almost everything we do.

Poor communication skills will always make an impact, but seldom the impact that we hope for!

The Basics: The 3 Commandments of Super Communications

Most of us will spend our lives on the surface of things. We’ll go miles long but only inches deep.

This is easy to do. I find myself doing it all the time. Checking Twitter instead of reading. Watching some Netflix instead of engaging in conversation with my wife.

And that’s how most of us go through life. We exercise our brains for work or school perhaps, but rarely in the context of our interactions with others.

Superficiality has been referred to as the 'curse of our age'. People's greatest need today isn't for more intelligent people or talented people, but it is for deep people.

Intelligence surrounds us. Knowledge is readily available to more people than ever in history. However, few people choose to go miles deep and inches long.

Defining Superficiality

If you are interested in growing and improving yourself, then the chances are that you want out more out of life than what you currently have.

Diving deep into understanding the psychology of ourselves can often be a bit overwhelming - especially if we don't know where to look, or what it is that we're even looking for!

Self-Awareness and introspection are the core elements for enabling us to transform the overall quality of our lives. Introspection is a conscious effort to 'look within', or a close observation of our personal thoughts, feelings, and even our motives (which can demand a WHOLE lot of soul searching).

Who are you? Who do you believe that you are and why? This enormous introspective concept (Idea) determines how you interact and communicate with other people.

In this lecture, we'll look at getting to know ourselves slightly better before we begin to consider communicating more effectively with others.

Self Awareness: Getting In The 'Know'

There are many reasons why interpersonal communications may fail.

In many communications, the message (what is said) may not be received exactly the way the sender intended. It is, therefore, important that the communicator seeks feedback to check that their message is clearly understood.

In this lecture, we will explore the greatest barrier to effective communications and how we can address this efficiently and with relative ease.

Preview 05:49

Let's face it; we all have moments where we stop and ask ourselves, 'Did that other hear me?' Well, the real question is, 'Are they listening?' and that is always a matter of choice.

You see, hearing is an unconscious process that starts with noise, vibrations, the movement of fluid in the ears and sound sent to the brain. Simple!

Where it gets a little complicated is when the noise arrives at its final destination: the brain! This is where listening happens. Listening is a voluntary act where we try to make sense out of the noise we hear. That could be your partner telling you to clean the kitchen, or your boss complaining about the latest drop in sales figures.

In any event, hearing and listening are very different because, while hearing requires no effort whatsoever, listening demands conscious action!

Preview 04:58
The Prerequisites For Strong Communication Skills
15 Lectures 01:22:56

Did you know that mind control is possible? (of sorts)

No, you can’t make your customers give you all of their money, and you can't turn your partners or in-laws into mindless zombies, but you can influence them in a positive (or a negative) way.

In fact, there’s a science to it!

Preview 05:30

Before you move on in the course, take some time and write down the ways in which you would like to improve your communications and interactions with other people.

For example, what are some situations that you would like to change with a new set of communication skills?

In this exercise, try to find 10 different situations in your life where more effective communication skills might start to come in useful:

Communication Skills Self-Assessment
2 pages

Non-verbal communication is often subtle which can include body language, tonality & even self-image.

In this video, we'll discuss why non-verbal communication is so important.

Body Language & Self Image

In this video, we'll break down exactly what healthy communications are - and also what they're not!

Did you know that Communication is:

  • 7% WORDS (What You Say)
  • 38% TONALITY (How You Say it)
  • 55% PHYSIOLOGY (How You Conduct Yourself)

So, to give ourselves the best possible chance of being acknowledged by others ... let's quickly address our Physiology!

Breaking Down Our Communications

Winning hearts and minds is a concept occasionally expressed in the resolution of war, insurgency, and other conflicts, in which one side seeks to prevail not by the use of superior force, but by making emotional or intellectual appeals to sway supporters of the other side.

Both the British & American forces applied operation hearts and minds during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The belief behind this operation was that 'If you can win over people's hearts, they will freely give you their minds'.

If we consider this 'hearts and minds' approach when communicating in our day-to-day relationships, you might see that people do not always want to be engaged with on an intellectual level (their minds), but are often more receptive to being engaged with on an emotional level (hearts).

Preview 05:57

Think of one or more conversations in your life that went badly.

Imagine how the conversations might have gone better if you'd known how to action more active & responsive listening. In this exercise, use the space below to write down an alternative version of how this conversation could have gone.

Learning From The Past
3 pages

The halo effect can influence how teachers treat students, and it can also impact how students perceive their teachers. In one study, researchers found that when an instructor was viewed as warm and friendly, students also rated him as more attractive, appealing, and likeable.

Marketers take advantage of the halo effect to sell products and services. When a celebrity spokesperson endorses a particular item, our positive evaluations of that individual can spread to our perceptions of the product itself.

Job applicants are also likely to feel the impact of the halo effect. If a prospective employer views the applicant as attractive or likeable, they are more likely to also rate the individual as intelligent, competent, and qualified.

So, the next time you trying to make an evaluation of another person, whether it is deciding which political candidate to vote for or which movie to see on a Friday night, consider how your overall impressions of an individual might influence your evaluations of other characteristics.

Does your impression of a candidate being a good public speaker lead you to feel that she is also smart, kind, and hard-working? Does thinking that a particular actor is good-looking also lead you to think that he is also a compelling actor?

Being aware of the halo effect, however, does not make it easy to avoid its influence on our perceptions and decisions.

Understanding The Halo Effect

Most people will agree that trust is an important element in their friendships.

But what does “trust” mean? And why is it important in our communications with others?

This is what we'll be exploring throughout this video.

Trust: The Prerequisite for 'Open' Communications

Knowing the difference between monologue and dialogue is paramount if you are intending on improving the current quality of your interactions with others.

A dialogue is when there are two or more people who engage in a conversation. A monologue, on the other hand, is where a single individual speaks out. In this sense, the major difference between dialogue and monologue is in the number of speakers.

A monologue has only a single speaker but in a dialogue, there is two or more. Unlike in a monologue, in a dialogue, there is an exchange of thoughts and ideas. This video highlights the difference between the two terms, monologue and dialogue.

The Difference Between Monologue & Dialogue

Why do some relationships break-up, when others can last a lifetime?

One reason is that relationships go through 5 predictable relationship stages, each building on the last.

By understanding the five stages of a relationship, you can be better prepared to navigate through each stage successfully and not get “stuck” in any of them.

Understanding this will also emphasise the importance of well considered and effective communications.

The Levels & Stages of Relationship

Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship.

We treat trust like it’s a mystical, indefinable concept, but it’s very concrete. I believe this simple explanation of the process of building trust can be a helpful tool for you to measure the current confidence in your relationship and also to understand how to take trust to a deeper level.

Stronger trust always creates stronger relationships, and stronger relationships are always developed through effective communications.

TRUST defined: “Trust is a choice to be available, vulnerable and transparent in a relationship because the person you’re trusting has proven worthy of your partnership through consistency in their honesty, integrity and dependability.”

The Levels & Stages of Trust

Always practice being 'slow' to form an opinion of someone, you might just win a friend for life!

"Seek first to understand, and then to be understood."

We can fall into the trap of so earnestly wanting to get our point across; we forget to listen to the person we are speaking to. And even when we listen, how often do we seek to understand? If you find you have issues understanding those around you, slow down and try to understand indeed:

  • Where they are coming from.
  • What they are going through.
  • What is their motivation for doing something?
  • What they need or want from you.

Apparently, the answers to these questions vary widely depending on who you are having communication problems with. Be objective as you listen, as if you were a detective trying to solve the case, and don’t take anything personally.

Once you feel like you understand someone, then you can genuinely “seek to be understood.”

Foundations For Authentic Communication

Trust is never guaranteed, and it can’t be won overnight.

Trust must be carefully constructed, vigorously nurtured, and constantly reinforced. Trust is established over time, gradually, through a long chain of successful experiences. This video explores how to build trust.

Building trusting relationships is a process that can best be described as stacking layers on a foundation one at a time in such a way that each layer bonds on top of the prior one before another layer is added.

Foundations for Authentic Trust

As human beings, we all have a set of core basic needs.

Everyone is motivated by something, whether this is building a business, getting married, raising a family, traveling the world or whatever. There are six basic, universal needs that make us tick and drive all human behaviour.

Upon growing to understand these needs, we can better understand how to communicate in a way that will influence others in more effective ways.

Understanding Human Needs

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Gustav Jung

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), meta-programs are the keys to the way you process information. They’re basically how you form your internal representations and direct your behaviour.

Knowing how people work helps to bridge gaps in our communications. It can also lead you to self-understanding and the better you know yourself, the better you can drive yourself.

The people types I will introduce you to in this video are:

  1. Toward or Away From People
  2. Externally or Internally Referenced
  3. Matchers or Mismatchers
  4. Global or Detailed Thinkers
  5. ProActive or ReActive

From here, you may begin to understand why you don't always 'get along' with everyone!

Understanding People Types
Developing Core Communication Skills
14 Lectures 01:09:20

Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication.

Interpersonal communication is not just about what is actually said - the language used - but how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language.

When two or more people are in the same place and are aware of each other's presence, then communication is taking place, no matter how subtle or unintentional.

Without speech, an observer may be using cues of posture, facial expression, and dress to form an impression of the other's role, emotional state, personality and/or intentions. Although no communication may be intended, people receive messages through such forms of non-verbal behaviour.

Introducing Core Communication Skills

Your voice says a lot about you, and learning how to use it effectively can have countless benefits!

Our Effective Speaking page examines aspects of your voice, accent, tone, pitch, volume and encourages you to learn more about your voice and how you use it to its full potential.

Learn to communicate more dynamically, fluently and with passion and enthusiasm.

The Importance of Appropriate Emphasis

Emphasis: ˈɛmfəsɪs/ noun

1. particular importance, value, or prominence given to something." they placed great emphasis on the individual's freedom"synonyms: prominence, importance, significance;

2. stress given to a word or words when speaking to indicate particular importance." inflection and emphasis can change the meaning of what is said."

Use this simple exercise to practice your Emphasising skills.

Exercise 1: Practicing Emphasis (With Workbook)

Good communication is about more than just exchanging information!

It's about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information. Effective communication is also a two-way street. It’s not only how you convey a message so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, but it’s also how you listen to gain the full meaning of what’s being said and to make the other person feel heard and understood.

More than just the words you use, effective communication combines a set of skills including nonverbal communication, engaged listening, managing stress the moment, the ability to communicate assertively and the capacity to recognize and understand your emotions and those of the person you’re communicating with.

Effective communication is the glue that helps you deepen your connections to others and improve teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving. It enables you to communicate even negative or confusing messages without creating conflict or destroying trust.

While effective communication is a learned skill, it is more efficient when it’s spontaneous rather than formulaic. A speech that is read, for example, rarely has the same impact as a speech that’s delivered (or appears to be delivered) spontaneously. Of course, it takes time and effort to develop these skills and become an effective communicator.

The more effort and practice you put in, the more instinctive and natural your communication skills will become.

Effective Use of Emotion

To get more of someone else’s attention in tense situations, pay attention first: listen and give a brief restatement of what you have heard (especially feelings) before you go on to respond.

The kind of listening recommended here separates acknowledging from approving or agreeing. Acknowledging another person’s thoughts and feelings does not have to mean that you approve of or agree with that person’s actions or way of experiencing, or that you will do whatever someone asks.

By listening and then repeating back in your own words the essence of what you've just heard, from the speaker’s point of view, you allow the speaker to feel the satisfaction of being understood, (an essential human need).

Listening responsively is always worthwhile as a way of letting people know that you care about them. Our conversation partners do not automatically know how well we have understood them, and they may not yet be excellent at asking you for confirmation. When a conversation is tense or painful, it is even more important to listen first and then acknowledge back what you hear.

Otherwise, your chances of being heard by the other person may be indigent.

Empathy in Action

I’m embarrassed to say that it’s taken me most of my life to understand this, but it’s true.

Except in very rare situations, giving people advice who haven’t asked for it just doesn’t work – no matter how noble your intentions. In fact, they will often be offended, and your very relationship can be damaged because of this.

Unsolicited advice almost always seems judgmental and is, therefore, unappreciated. So after many years of fiery darts being flung my way, here're a few things I’ve learned about giving advice:

1. If they don’t ask, don’t give advice. Simple as that.

2. This applies to just about everything, short of stopping people from stepping in front of a moving car.

3. It doesn’t mean people are ungrateful, but people are often embarrassed when reminded of their mistakes or shortcomings. In my experience, most people need to see the result of their wrong thinking. When that happens, it makes a much more powerful and lasting impression.

4. Your advice will be more efficient when they’ve seen their mistake and then come to you.

5. This doesn’t mean you abandon anyone. It only means you watch, track their progress, keep quiet, and then be ready to answer their questions in a positive, inspiring way.

The impact of your advice isn’t just based on the insight; it’s also based on the timing.

Watch the video, and see if you can relate to what I'm talking about here?

Advice-giving Advice: Just Don't Do It!

In everyday life, “challenging someone” can have negative connotations, carrying the idea of conflict and confrontation. In the field of effective communication skills, it means something very different.

Each of us perceives the world differently – we all have our own unique ways of interpreting what’s going on, which may involve our own particular way of distorting things, and our particular blind spots.

One person may habitually react to criticism where no criticism is intended; another may fail to notice when they’re being treated unfairly, even though they notice it quickly with others.

Challenging is about bringing into focus discrepancies in the other person’s feelings, thinking or behaviour that they are tending to overlook or ignore.

Understanding this can have an enormous impact on the quality of our communications.

Appropriate Challenging

Silence can mean many things in our communications. It’s ambiguous.

It can express lots of different emotions ranging from joy, happiness, grief, an embarrassment to anger, denial, fear, withdrawal of acceptance or love. What it means depends on the context.

Silence allows you to give your undivided attention to the other person. You may give some non-verbal cues that you are hearing, such as nodding your head, smiling, opening or closing your eyes.

This method is especially useful when people come to you with strong feelings, either positive or negative. Their first need is simply to share the feelings and to have someone listen.

The Power of Appropriate Silence

However good you think your listening skills are, the only person who can tell you if you have understood correctly or not is the speaker. Therefore, as an extension of good listening skills, you need to develop the ability to reflect words and feelings and to clarify that you have understood them correctly.

It is often important that you and the speaker agree that what you understand is an accurate representation of what was meant to be said.

As well as understanding and reflecting the communication of the speaker, it's essential to understanding not only what is being said but the content, feeling & meaning of what people say.

Reflecting is the process of paraphrasing and restating both the feelings and words of the speaker. The purposes of reflecting are:

1) To allow the speaker to 'hear' their thoughts and to focus on what they say and feel.

2) To show the speaker that you are trying to perceive the world as they see it and that you are doing your best to understand their messages. And,

3) To encourage them to continue talking.

Reflecting does not involve you asking questions, introducing a new topic or leading the conversation in another direction. Speakers are helped through reflecting as it not only allows them to feel understood, but it also gives them the opportunity to focus their ideas.

This, in turn, helps them to direct their thoughts and further encourages them to continue speaking.

Paraphrasing involves using other words to reflect what the speaker has said. Paraphrasing shows not only that you are listening, but that you are attempting to understand what the speaker is saying.

It is often the case that people 'hear what they expect to hear' due to assumptions, stereotyping or prejudices. When paraphrasing, it is of utmost importance that you do not introduce your ideas or question the speakers thoughts, feelings or actions. Your responses should be non-directive and non-judgemental.

It is tough to resist the temptation to ask questions and when this technique is first used, reflecting can seem very stilted and unnatural. You need to practice this skill to feel comfortable.

Reflection & Paraphrasing

Authenticity is fundamental to effective communications for individuals, teams, and even organisations.

Now more than ever, people, leaders, and groups must utilise the power of authenticity to build trust, resolve conflicts, and create cohesion.

Although it can be counter-intuitive, some fascinating research in the fields of social psychology and emotional intelligence is proving that being real, honest, and even vulnerable are essential elements to individual and group success and engagement.

The Power of Authenticity

Summarising involves taking what someone has said over a prolonged period and putting it in a nutshell – a sentence or a few sentences that condense what might have taken a few minutes or longer to say.

This is an excellent way to demonstrate to someone that you've been listening to what they're saying!

Summarising What You Hear

Of all the skills a communicator has to acquire, unconditional positive regard is by far the most complex and challenging to learn.

Unconditional positive regard requires that someone suspends any form of personal judgment, and accepts someone else without any judgement what so ever. A determination is made in a very short amount of time, and overcoming this instant reaction can be confusing to many people.

Incidentally, offering another person Unconditional positive regard can be an excellent way to begin earning someone else's trust.

Offering Unconditional Positive Regard

The biggest mistake you can make in trying to talk convincingly is to put your highest priority on expressing your ideas and feelings. What most people want is to be listened to, respected and understood.

The moment people see that they are being understood, they become more motivated to comprehend your point of view. That's why it is so important that as good communicators, we develop the skill of Active Listening.

Active listening begins with being genuinely interested in what the speaker has to say. It means removing distractions from your mind and focusing on the person talking. Start by really concentrating on them and watching for body language, stance, and position of the arms and hands. It is estimated that only 10 percent of actual communication is delivered in spoken words. The rest comes to us in the attitude of the body.

It's also important that you avoid the temptation to interrupt. More often than not, we interrupt with our thoughts and ideas—in other words, our agenda. And one of the most important steps in active listening is providing and receiving feedback. Let the person sharing know with a nod of the head or an affirming word that you understand.

Better yet, restate your understanding of what the person just said after they have finished.

Active Listening & Self Disclosure

Congratulations on making it this far in the course!

You're now officially half way there towards becoming a SUPER-COMMUNICATOR ...

To celebrate your improving Communication Skills, here's another short exercise that'll allow you to practice everything that you've learned up until now.

Exercise 2: End of Section Exercise
Core Questioning Skills
9 Lectures 34:56

As you go forth in your quest for knowledge, remember that asking great questions takes practice.

This implies that you probably won’t get it perfect every each outing. Just get started asking questions. Your skills will improve over time. Remember that if you want good answers, they come from asking carefully considered questions.

Asking Better Questions

Although there are numerous reasons for asking questions the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Closed questions invite a short, focused answer - responses to closed questions can often (but not always) be either right or wrong. Closed questions are usually easy to answer - as the choice of response is limited - they can be effectively used early in conversations to encourage participation and can be very useful in fact-finding scenarios such as research. 

There are certain things to keep in mind before asking a question. Use attentive silences to consider:

1. The purpose of a question.

2. The most appropriate type of question to use.

3. The probable impact that the question may have

Questions are sometimes called open ended questions or closed questions. By contrast, to closed questions, open questions allow for much longer responses and therefore potentially more creativity and information. There are lots of different types of open question; some are more closed than others!

Open & Closed Questions

Translate each of the following “yes & no” questions into an “open-ended” one and see if you can identify problems that might arise from each of the “yes & no” versions.

Preview 4 pages

We can use Interrogation Techniques to funnel the respondent’s answers by asking a series of questions that become more (or less) restrictive at each step, starting with open questions and ending with closed questions or vice-versa.

For example:

  • "Tell me about your most recent holiday."
  • "What did you see while you were there?"
  • "Were there any good restaurants?"
  • "Did you try the local food?"
  • "Did you try the amazing garlic bread?"

The questions in this example become more restrictive, starting with open questions which allow for very broad answers. At each step, the questions become more focused and the responses will likely become more restrictive.

Funnelling can work the other way around, starting with closed questions and working up to more open questions. For an effective counsellor or interrogator, these funnelling techniques can be a very useful tactic to find out the maximum amount of information, by beginning with open questions and then working towards more closed questions.

In contrast, when meeting somebody new, it is common to start by asking more closed questions and progressing to open questions as both parties relax.

Closed Interrogation Techniques

Probing Questions are intended to help us understand other people and their problems with greater clarity.

Asking probing questions is a good strategy for finding out more details. Sometimes it's as simple as asking your respondent for an example, to help you understand a statement they have made.

At other times, you need additional information for clarification, for instance: "When do you need this report by, and do you want to see a draft before I give you my final version?", or to investigate whether there is proof of what has been said, "How do you know that the new database can't be used by the sales force?"

I'll show you more about what I mean in this video.

Probing Questions

Chunking is a simple technique to use during questioning to vary the level of detail of information you get.

Chunking Down: Sometimes the person you are talking with is speaking at a very high level, covering general ideas and themes. Leaders often like to think this way, with grand plans and visions.

Sometimes you deliberately started this way, getting a big picture before you dive into detail.

Chunking down is getting more detail by probing for more information about the high-level information you already have. The goal is to find out more of the specific details that will allow you to fill in the empty gaps of your picture.

The more you ask chunking questions, the more you will find further detail. Keep going and you'll soon end up in the weeds. In fact, if you go too deep, you can get lost. A tip: try to stay within three chunking levels for most of the time, digging deeper only on topics of particular interest where you want to bottom out the subject.

Chunking Up: Sometimes the person you are talking with is already stuck in the details. Some people (most IT Guru's for example) are happiest when they have their teeth sunk into the grit of a substantial problem. It can help them hugely when they take the time to step out of the details and look up to see the bigger picture.

To chunk up, you are doing the opposite of chunking down - looking for a more generalized understanding. This includes looking for overall purpose, meaning, linkages, etc.

Chunking Up and Down: You can use both methods together as a way of building a broad understanding.

Chunking Up & Chunking Down

One of the most frustrating experiences I have had when interacting with others is when I receive feedback from someone who decides to use "softeners" instead of being direct in their communication.

These "softeners" come in the form of:

  • saying "we" when you really mean "I."
  • using words such as "kinda", "sort of", and "right."
  • being indirect in asking for something by saying "would you mind..."

These "softeners" often result in ambiguity and confusion about a person's intent. Effective communicators and influencers, on the other hand:

  • take ownership for their feedback by saying "I believe","I think", and "I feel."
  • eliminate "kinda," sort of," "right," and other softeners from their vocabulary
  • influence others to take action by saying "please do this" or by asking "will you, please do this."
Relationship Building 'Softeners'

When communicating with others, you might become aware of how much time people spend focussing on things that 'may or may not' happen.

People very commonly concern themselves with the worst possible outcomes that may come about in the context of their day to day situations and circumstances.

In this video, I will share one question, which you can use to diffuse virtually any problem that people believe they might have in their futures ... for good!

The Dilemma Diffuser

There is a broad range of questions and question types; there is also a wide range of possible responses.

The workbook highlights some of the replies that people may have to your questions (based on how much this person has grown to trust you throughout the communications that you've had with them so far):

You might find some of the questions in here slightly thought provoking - but that's OK!

Workbook 4: Responding to Questions Appropriately
4 pages
Advanced Questioning and Communication Skills
6 Lectures 23:24

Read the following statements and consider how effective you are at listening to those who you interact with. Answer true or false to each of the statements listed.

When you have finished the quiz, go back and look at the areas that you answered as true and make appropriate notes as you work your way throughout the rest of the course of ways that you could begin doing things differently.

Listening Skills Quiz
7 questions

It is crucial for our physical and psychological well-being that we maintain interpersonal relationships with other people in our life.

These relationships are a necessity, not a luxury, and we need to be prepared to develop and maintain these critical relationships.

Positive, supportive relationships can help us cope with difficult times in our lives, reduce psychological distress, and increase our general happiness and life satisfaction. Communication can literally be described as the centre of all interpersonal relationships.

The problem is that communication can be tough to initiate so that one can develop and maintain positive relationships with other people. Managing the dynamics of personal relationships can be quite challenging.

Communication is definitely a skill that takes considerable learning and practice to gain a sense of mastery. Personal relationships are at times difficult to maintain because they are extremely complex, constantly changing and very fragile.

That is why it is beneficial to use effective communication skills in personal relationships. Effective communication skills ensure that we will listen actively to what the other person is saying, communicate clearly, negotiate to ensure win-win situations, maintain effective body language and be aware of the countless distortions that may block clear communication between two people.

The good news is that if you feel like you are not a good communicator, you can learn and practice the skills that will help your interpersonal relationships grow and work more efficiently.

This short workbook relies on a self-reflective method that you should hopefully find to be quite good fun while you also learn the part that you play in whether your communications with others go well …. Or otherwise!

In reality, ACTIVE LISTENING it is one of the most difficult aspects of effective communication. Active listening takes commitment and knowledge of barriers that are keeping you from listening effectively to others.

The exercises in this workbook are designed to get you thinking about any potential blocks there might be to your listening effectiveness.

The Listening Skills Workbook
7 pages

The Agreement Frame is a communication framework that enables us to elegantly disagree with and convince someone without breaking rapport.

The Agreement Frame is very useful in conflict resolution of all kinds as well as Sales and Negotiation as a way of keep or getting someone on your side.

Agreement & Disagreement Frames

Many times we fear that our nerves could cause an uncomfortable response when we're asked tough or challenging questions by other people.

There is an approach that all effective communicators use to handle the awkward questions they are asked ... it's simple, effective, and it works every time!

A Foolproof Approach To Answering Tough Questions

Despite the fact that ambiguity in language is an essential part of any language, it is often an obstacle to be ignored or a problem to be solved for two or more people to understand each other.

I will examine this fact and attempt to show that even when perceived as a problem, ambiguity provides value. In any case, language ambiguity can be understood as an illustration of the complexity of language itself.

As a start, I will define some terms to clarify what we mean by "ambiguity."

Imploding Ambiguities

Speaking and understanding English doesn’t just come from using correct grammar and vocabulary.

Native English speakers convey meaning in their sentences with a pitch - the ups and downs and the 'musical notes' of their sentences. Understanding intonation is important as we develop our communication skills because this will enable us to know how to pronounce or communicate a word appropriately.

Intonation is a word used to refer to how a sentence sounds. How a sentence sounds if it's a question sounds different from how a sentence sounds if it's a statement. If you say a sentence out loud, first as a question and then as a statement, you'll hear the difference in sound. That is intonation.

Understanding Intonation Patterns

This is the 2nd exercise of the course ... and I know that you'll find this one useful!

Exercise 3: End of Section Exercise
Communication Skills: Metaphors, Analogies and Telling Stories
9 Lectures 01:10:44

Storytelling has been called the oldest and the newest of the arts.

Though its purpose and conditions change from century to century, and from culture to culture, storytelling continues to fulfill the same basic social and individual needs.

Human beings seem to have an innate impulse to communicate their feelings and experiences through storying. We tell stories in order to make sense of our world. We express our beliefs, desires, and hopes in stories, in an attempt to explain ourselves and to understand others.

In The Completed Gesture, a book about the importance of story in our lives, John Rouse once wrote, “Stories are told as spells for binding the world together.”

Introduction To Storytelling

Storytelling has been around for 1000's of years, and we can probably all remember being captivated by stories in our childhood.

Great stories have a timeless quality, they are outside of time and are therefore relevant to any moment in time. Stories allow the listener to step into a scenario, a situation, a context – the audience becomes the hero.

“Stories are best told in a timeless manner so the listener can decide how best they can be applied to a timely matter. So it is not about true stories. It is about stories that have a truth. Storytelling is best when it moves us from what has happened to what may happen.“

Where the characters come to life and you ‘see’ the rich visual images that your imagination has fabricated. As we get immersed in a story, we begin to become a part of it, our hearts are touched, and we can ‘feel’ what the characters are ‘feeling.'

Storytelling For Perception Shifting

So why should leaders and good communicators be outstanding role models who lead by example?

Sharing your story allows your audience to connect with you. It builds roads to their 'hearts and minds', and also demonstrates that you are not so different from them.

Your story will also be a big RED STOP sign for members of your audience that aren't right for you ... and this is an excellent thing! You want to keep the people that resonate with you and shoo away those that don't.

Self Disclosure: Leading by Example

Did you know that all healthy relationships are built upon trust?

And did you also know that all trust is developed over a period time?

By the end of this video, you'll fully understand what I mean by this and also why it's crucial to know if you're passionate about improving the quality of your communication skills.

The 'Truth, Trust, Time' Principle

Storytelling isn't about regurgitating a load of information, but it's a dynamic process where you take your audience on a journey towards seeing the things that you see.

One way of understanding the process of effective storytelling is through the storytelling triangle.

In this lecture, we'll explore what the storytelling triangle is, alongside developing your relationship with the stories you tell and developing the relationship you have with your audience.

Telling a story is a three-way relationship involving you, the story, and the audience.

Elements of the Storytelling Triangle

One twentieth-century academic characterised the rest of Western philosophy as 'a series of footnotes to Plato'. Socrates' erstwhile pupil is also credited with the invention of the university, and his most famous work, The Republic, is (amongst other things) an educator's handbook.

For Plato, the education of a state's Guardians – its warrior class – was of fundamental importance. In devising his ideal state in The Republic, education is the first issue he considers.

And what is the first subject that Plato addresses on the Guardians' curriculum?

Storytelling. No, really!!!

Ancient Philosophical Storytelling

An Open Loop is an unfinished thought or story which will leave your audience on a 'cliffhanger' of anticipation, and hungry to hear what happens next.

I do my best to illustrate this throughout the video ... by telling you another story!

The 'Open Loop' Storytelling Sequence

What is it about ‘open loops’ that cause people to want and reach for more of whatever your offering?

And about a month ago it dawned on me while watching TV. I was watching a television show that I did not find terribly interesting, and out of nowhere the power went out.

The weird thing was that inside I felt this emotional “want” to find out the conclusion to a TV show I did not even find interesting. But the more I thought about this, the more I realised that I did not want to know what happened, but wanted closure and resolution.

Even though the show was not very good, it had created some unresolved emotional tension in me. The power going out made me aware of my need to release, resolve, and bring closure to this tension.

So, what I have discovered is that the psychological mechanism behind open loops is in creating unresolved emotional tension. What I have realised is that besides using open loops, there are hundreds of ways of creating, and increasing unresolved emotional tension.

It's this philosophy that most TV soap opera's are based upon, where although storylines will often be repetitive and boring, it's the open loops that keep people consistently coming back for more!

The 'Closed Loop' Storytelling Sequence

If you’ve seen the movie 'Inception', you may proceed on ...

If you haven’t seen the movie, you should stop everything you’re doing and watch it. Right now!! ;)

Great stories move beyond spectacle. By crafting character, plot, and theme in such a way that those concepts bounce meaningfully off each other, they grant audiences a deeper insight into the world around them.

Sometimes there is more to a story than simply beating the bad guy. In fact, for a story to be more than merely a tale of exciting exploits, it must find a way to give the audience something it can’t find in the course of their daily lives. Christopher Nolan's: Inception is one such story.

To experience an outstanding example of Inception Storytelling ... Open another browser, buy it on Amazon Instant, and watch it ... you could call this extracurricular activity!

Inception Storytelling Secrets
Closing Section & Final Thoughts
2 Lectures 08:48

No good course would ever be complete without it's very own 'recommended reading list' ... so here goes, take some notes, make yourself out a budget ... and allow yourself to do some extracurricular shopping on Amazon & Ebay ;-)

Recommended Reading List

And this final lecture brings us to a close ... for now!

As I mention in this video, I fully appreciate that this course doesn't cover every single aspect and element of Communicating ... however, I have done my very best to include all of the most 'important stuff.'

If there's anything that you'd like me to add to this course, please message me directly, as this will allow me to know what additional lectures to add to the course moving forwards.

But other than this, if you'd be willing to take a few minutes and write the course a review (and rate it), I'd be hugely appreciative - as this will enable future students to make a well informed decision as to whether this is the kind of course that would be of benefit to them,

Other than this, get yourself out there and start being an ABSOLUTELY AWESOME COMMUNICATOR - and let me know how you get on ;-)

Kindest regards and thanks once again for taking the time to complete this course,

Kain Ramsay

Closing Thoughts & Summary
About the Instructor
Kain Ramsay
4.5 Average rating
5,900 Reviews
53,378 Students
38 Courses
Innovator of Thought in NLP, CBT & Modern Applied Psychology

Over the last decade, Kain has influenced over 47,000 people towards making huge life changes in their character, communications, leadership and general wellbeing.

Having worked his pragmatic brand of personal transformation with top business achievers, sports people, musicians, entrepreneurs and ex-military personnel, Kain directs his teaching towards living a lifestyle of greater clarity, intentionality, integrity and purpose.

Kain takes an unconventional approach towards demonstrating how making small modifications in a persons thinking, can yield massive results in their day-to-day lives. He is one of the UK’s most trusted self improvement Instructors with over 35,000 students enrolled in one or more his unique range of personal growth courses.

Beginning his career in the military, Kain spent 9 years in the British Army and served on Operational Tours in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Kuwait and Gulf War II prior to ending his service in 2004. Post Military, he also developed successful careers in finance, strategic marketing and business to business communications.

Having over a decade studying and practicing Psychology, Mindfulness, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, CBT, Therapeutic Counselling and Theology, today, Kain serves as a leader of thought in the advancement of applied modern psychology.

A successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, Kain serves as Chairman of Solid Grounds, a Scottish veterans charity, whose purpose is to serve and mentor Ex-Military personnel through the (often problematic) transition from military to civilian life.

Kain's ongoing commitment to creating life-changing self improvement resources, is surpassed only by his passion for family as a dedicated husband to his wife, Karen.