What Makes a Competent Communicator?

Competent communicators express a concise, easily comprehensible message, understand the recipients of their message, possess empathy for those recipients and practice active listening. Strong communication skills are important for both personal and professional success.

Strong communicators have a clear objective in mind when they present an idea. They get to their point quickly and express their ideas as clearly as possible in order to cut down on misinterpretations or misunderstandings. Competent communicators rarely ramble. When they have addressed one point thoroughly, they move on to the next one.

Good communicators have an understanding of their audience, and they tailor their communication to best suit its recipients. This may mean changing both the content and the delivery of the message. A strong communicator understands that addressing a coworker is typically very different from addressing a supervisor, for example.

Similarly, competent communicators also attempt to empathize with their audience in order to understand them better. Regardless of how different those recipients may be, skilled communicators attempt to view a situation from the audience’s perspective. By better understanding the audience’s concerns and emotions, good communicators can offer more earnest, effective messages.

Finally, good communicators do more than just talk. They also listen effectively, hearing what others say, interpreting the message and repeating it back. By conveying other people’s messages accurately, effective communicators help put others at ease, making them more receptive to communication.