(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)
15. Communication skills
Ability to really listen to others, to foster genuine dialogue, to advocate own views skillfully, to manage conflicts constructively and to adapt communication to diverse groups.
Communication skills can be described in terms of certain concrete behaviours, such as conveying positive intentions and regard, attentive and active listening, asking open-ended questions and advocating views in constructive ways. However, without a more fundamental grounding in values and psychological maturity, just practicing certain behaviours may not lead to genuine contact, trust, safe spaces and fruitful dialogue. Communication skills are strongly related to several other IDGs, such as Presence, Humility, Perspective awareness, Openness and Learning mindset and Inclusive mindset and Intercultural competence. Awareness of other people›s potentially very different patterns of meaning-making, due to different enculturation, professional training, political worldview and previous life experiences, is necessary in order to realize the need to adapt communication behaviours to varying contexts.
In the survey some respondents pointed to conflict management skills and story-telling skills as important. We chose to include these skills in the communication skills category. Obviously there is a very comprehensive literature on communication, conflict management and story-telling, so large that it is difficult to select representative resources. Some classic references regarding communication are Rosenberg, 1999; Fisher & Ury, 1981; and Bohm, 2004.