Unseen Passage: Communication Skills

It is rare to find someone with good technical and communication skills. You can get far ahead of your colleagues if you combine the two early in your career. People will judge, evaluate, promote or block you based on your communication skills. Since habits form by repeating both good and bad forms of communication, learn to observe great communicators and adopt their styles and traits— in written and verbal forms. The art of listening and learning from each and every interaction, is another secret recipe. Develop the subconscious habit of listening to yourself as you speak and know when to pause.

Learning what not to say is probably more important than learning what to say. As your career develops, you will realize that the wise speak less. Speak when you have value to add, else refrain. Poorly constructed emails with grammatical errors are acceptable between friends, but they should be seriously avoided while communicating formally with your seniors. Avoid any communication in an emotional state when you might say things you will regret later. One unnecessary word uttered at the wrong time or place can ruin a relationship, career or even your life. Such is the power of words. If such a thing happens, you should immediately apologise, else it may haunt you for life.

Another problem to overcome is speaking too fast. Since our minds are working faster than our speech, we are inclined to speak fast. This does not necessarily mean that the person hearing it will get it any faster. On the contrary, it is always the reverse. So slow down, and think before you speak. ‘‘When I get ready to speak to people,’’ Abraham Lincoln said, ‘‘I spend two-third of the time thinking what they want to hear and one-third thinking what I want to say.’’ Adding humour and wit is also essential. But realize that not all jokes are funny and observe certain boundaries. Never say anything that could offend. Remember you are not a comedian who must offend as many people as you can to be witty.

Answer the following questions briefly:

  1. Why is it necessary to have good communication skills
  2. How can communication skills be developed?
  3. What, according to the writer, should be avoided while communicating?
  4. Why should you be careful when you tend to be humorous?


  1. Because people will judge, evaluate, promote or block you based on your communication skills.
  2. By repeating both good and bad forms of communication, learning to observe great communicators and adopting their styles and traits – in written and verbal forms.
  3. Poorly constructed e-mails with grammatical errors should be avoided.
  4. Because all jokes are not funny. Moreover, certain boundaries should be observed.

Choose the most appropriate meanings of the given words from the options provided:

  1. evaluate
    1. estimate
    2. assume
    3. punish
    4. evolve
  2. trait
    1. treaty
    2. trail
    3. quality
    4. liberty
  3. utter
    1. Flatter
    2. speak
    3. rot
    4. unique
  4. haunt
    1. hunt
    2. chant
    3. trouble
    4. avoid


  1. assume
  2. quality
  3. speak
  4. trouble

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