Forms of Communication Skills Training

Several Communication Skills Training (CST) programs for students are used:

• partner style communications,
• conflict control,
• conducting business discussions, and
• public presentation training, along with others.

Process and Structure of CST

The standard sequence of CST consists of four phases:

1) “Warming-up” the group to the working level and implementing group norms and standards;
2) Objectifying and creating conditions in which the person becomes more sensitive to the opinions and actions of referent group members who facilitate the change to new and more reflexive behaviors;
3) Implementing and learning new social behavioral techniques;
4) Participating in role games, group discussions and public presentations that demonstrate and enforce the positive effects of the change and the training.

Methods, Means and Techniques of CST

The basic means of CST are conducting role games, discussions and exercises in groups of two and three. Each student makes his (her) own analysis of the group member’s behavior and provides feedback to the others.

Both verbal reactions and the playback of video or audio records of nonverbal reactions (e.g. motions, gestures, poses, mimics, and eye contact, voice and speech patterns) are used as the means of feedback. Such techniques are utilized for the following applications:

• Establishing personal contact,
• Active listening,
• Reducing emotional tensions with the partner,
• Defending one’s opinion, position, or point of view,
• Discussing organization and administration,
• Public presentations.

The main methods that are used for objectification and creating positive behavioral change are:

• Group analysis of the participant’s behavior in the role games with hidden motive and/or conflict embedded in it; analysis of discussions with distributed roles, which minimizes self interest and leads to the development of joint solutions; and analysis of public presentations.
• Analysis of playbacks of recorded role games, discussions, and presentations

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Communication Skills. The Official Guide to Communication Skills is Meryl Runion. Meryl Runion, CSP, is a Certified Speaking Professional and the author of four books on communication. Her books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. She is the author of a weekly email newsletter called A PowerPhrase a Week, which boast thousands of subscribers. Her clients include IBM, who find her to be systematic, the IRS who particularly love her in April, and the FBI, who find her to be a person of interest.

Additional Resources on Communication Skills can be found at:

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Meryl Runion, The Official Guide to Communication Skills