Scholar Highlights the Importance of Communication Skills in Today’s Competitive World

In an effort to equip CPEEL students with the soft skills they require to be worthy ambassadors of the Centre, the Centre has been organizing Students’ Special Seminar Series where experienced Speakers are brought to share their knowledge and expertise on diverse issues of relevance and importance to CPEEL and its students. On the 30th of September, 2014, Dr. Olayinka Egbokhare, a Lecturer at the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan presented in the Series, and her presentation, which was titled “Effective Communication in the Work Place,” focused on how to improve communication skills needed to excel in virtually all organizations.   

In her presentation, Dr. Olayinka Egbokhare stated that communication involves the exchange of information, and entails insight giving, of ourselves, others, as well as issues. Highlighting the importance of communication, she stated that an organization that fails to communicate effectively is as good as dead. Communication helps to build meaningful relationships, and is essential in influencing and persuading people. The need to therefore have communication skills is non-negotiable.

Dr. Egbokhare identified the basic communications skills to include reading, listening, writing and speaking. Components of communication however include message, channel, feedback, noise, feed-forward and context, and understanding all these is important in ensuring effective communication. Basic communication axioms are that interactions are either symmetrical or complementary; messages are either verbal or non verbal; every interaction is defined by how it is punctuated; and every interaction has both content and relationship dimension.

She emphasized the skills one needs to acquire to be an effective communicator. These were ability to understand and communicate with oneself; knowledge of how or why one see things the way one does, and how or why those with whom one relates to see things the way they do; ability to listen and process information; sensitivity to silent messages; knowledge of how words affect one and those with whom one relates; and ability to handle conflict by learning how to disagree without been disagreeable.

Finally, Dr. Egbokhare urged CPEEL students and staff to work on developing their emotional intelligence, noting that emotional intelligence can give one the edge in today’s competitive world. Ability to understand and get along with others, ability to manage or control one’s emotions like tears, rage and anxiety, ability to motivate oneself, ability of being self-aware, as well as ability to recognize emotions in others were all identified as dividends of emotional intelligence.

In his closing remarks, the Director of CPEEL, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju commended the presentation and the careful effort put into it including the neatness and clarity of the slides. He noted that the lessons gleaned from the presentation would no doubt be useful for CPEEL staff and students going forward.