What Are the Four Basic Communication Skills?

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The four basic communication skills are speaking, listening, reading and writing. These basic skills enable people to send and receive information to and from one another for effective interaction.

Speaking acts as the primary method of communication amongst people, due to its efficiency. Factors such as word choice, tone, emphasis and volume easily affect how speaking is interpreted. Listening is the most commonly used communication skill. It acts as one of the ways to obtain information, learn, understand or get entertained. Listening is classified into active listening and passive listening.

Reading and writing cover a smaller share in communication and are often considered to be higher level skills. Writing comprises the smallest part of communication. Writing, like speaking, is subject to misinterpretation, and factors such as word choice, word order, punctuation and tone are crucial for effective communication.