Top 3 Effective Communication Skills

Strong communication skills are helpful in your not-for-profit and your everyday life. It’s always a good time to brush up! 

Authored by: iClick2Learn Team

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Top 3 Effective Communication Skills

In today’s fast-paced world, it can feel like you’re constantly communicating. Even when you’re alone, you stay connected with texts, emails, and emojis. But just because we do something all the time, that doesn’t mean we’re constantly improving.


In your not-for-profit and your everyday life, communication skills matter. The way you communicate can determine whether you’re understood, trusted, promoted, and more. Solid communication skills can also help you accomplish your goals and projects more efficiently. Below, we take a look at three communication skills worth developing.

Active Listening

Most effective leaders are strong communicators. And one of the top communication skills you can learn is active listening. Active listening means paying close attention to what the other person is saying and following up with clarifying questions.


Many people are so focused on delivering their message they forget to listen. Instead, they wait for their turn to speak again. But active listening requires patience and curiosity. By genuinely engaging with others, you can build trust and understanding, which leads to greater cooperation.


Some people shy away from persuasion because they think it requires an aggressive attitude. But persuading doesn’t mean hard-selling someone against their will. The best persuaders are friendly, engaging, and charismatic. 

Here are some tips for building your persuasion skills:

  • Listen carefully and know your audience
  • Speak in a warm, inviting manner
  • Hear others out and negotiate if necessary
  • Make your suggestion with a strong focus on how it benefits the other person or the group
  • Remind others how your proposal will help them achieve their end goal

Persuasion is never about bullying. When you persuade someone toward a plan, idea, or behaviour, you are making a suggestion that helps improve or enhance the status quo. There are many different ways of communicating, but people generally respond well to patience, kindness, and gentle persuasion.

Knowing Communication Styles V's Methods

Keeping track of all the different communication styles and methods can get confusing. First, let’s start with the basics.

Some communication methods:

Some communication styles:

  • Passive
  • Aggressive
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Assertive

 Everyone seems to have their own preferred methods of communication and their own distinct style of communication. Part of being a good communicator is listening, observing, and getting to know people. Then, you can use the method they prefer and a style suited to the interaction.

 Check out our Communication Styles Guide [link to tool] to learn more about the four primary communication styles and when to use them. It’s a great document to reference regularly. It can help you understand other people’s communication styles while improving your own.


Whether presenting to your board/committee or chatting with a fellow volunteer, strong communication skills benefit the speaker and the listener. It can be helpful to remember that communicating isn’t just about talking–it’s also about listening, understanding, and cooperating. 

While we’re on the topic of communication, we have an entire video series on Writing in our library. You can find helpful resources for writing competitive grant applications, common mistakes submission writers make, and more.

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