Has quarantine and self-isolation taken a toll on your communication skills? In this article, we’re going to help you find ways to enhance your communication skills while spending most of your time without any form of social contact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it, and no one, including scientists or health authorities, can say with absolute certainty when life may get back to what we once considered “normal.”
Like millions of others worldwide, you have likely spent significant time in isolation, either quarantining or as a general precautionary measure to avoid disease spread.
Chances are, after a bit of time in isolation, you’ve noticed that you don’t know where to practice communication skills and that you’ve been deteriorating in the communications department.
Now, it’s undeniable that developing and maintaining sharp communication skills is essential.
We’re not talking about how communication skills at work can help you be a better employee and a better colleague.
What we’re talking about is how communication skills help improve your overall wellbeing.
That is why, given the predicament we all have collectively found ourselves in with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re going to study the effect of self-isolation on communication skills and suggest ways to work on them even when it may seem impossible.
Can communication skills be learned?
Now, this is something worth addressing because it’s easy to fall into despair when searching for “communication skills how to improve” while holed up at home and trying to make the most out of your confinement by working on your personal development.
But, here’s the thing: yes, communication skills can be learned.
And yes, you can work on your communication skills yourself, unaided, and track your improvement through little things.
Say, for example, that you’ve had a pleasant conversation with someone, or that you made someone smile.
These may sound like insignificant things, but they are not.
Even subtle communication is communication, and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not making too much progress.
Don’t forget the unprecedented times we live in.
Everyone is struggling, often in more ways than before.
You’re not alone!
Communication skills benefits
There’s no debating how valuable it is to have good communication skills.
That’s why, before getting into the specifics of what you can do to overcome the communication plateau, let’s take a look at the benefits of developing good communication skills.
Let’s learn how they can help you in your work and everyday life.
According to experts, having good communication skills can help with things like:
1. Establishing trust.
If you can communicate freely and unambiguously, it’s easy to gain others’ trust and become the person they rely on to carry out important tasks and make crucial decisions.
2. Becoming good at conflict resolution.
It’s always important to calmly resolve any issues that may arise.
Doing otherwise may only make things worse.
When you’re a good communicator, you’re adept at bringing understanding between opposing parties in an uneventful manner.
3. Becoming more productive.
This applies to your work life, but it could also apply to the time you spend indulging in your favorite hobbies.
If you’re a good communicator, you can streamline whatever tasks you are called to perform and be more productive, sometimes even with less effort than usual.
4. Improving your relationships.
It’s been said time and again that communication is the foundation of any good relationship.
Having strong communication skills will help you come closer with your friends, family, partner, and colleagues because you will know how to listen to them and respond to their needs accordingly.
Taking all of the above into consideration, let’s take a look at a quick example of how communication skills can affect your love life.
When browsing on one of the online dating sites, you have to do what some call an “improve communication skills without communicating” exercise.
How are you going to keep your match’s interest alive and secure a date?
That’s right: you need to be a good communicator already to get your point across, even when you’re not face-to-face with someone.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what you can do to become a top communicator in quarantine.
How communication skills can be developed while in self-isolation
1. Stay connected with friends and family
Being forced to shut-in doesn’t mean you have to shut everybody off!
Take advantage of all the technology at your fingertips and keep up with your friends and loved ones that are also in self-isolation.
Believe us: they’re likely just as bored and lonely as you.
You can call, text, FaceTime, Zoom, and even play online games or watch movies.
The possibilities are endless!
2. Read books on personal development
Even if reading is not your thing, books on personal development can pique your interest.
You can look for some that are written in an accessible way, or are even structure in a more abstract format, meaning that they contain bullet points or graphs.
Books on personal development will help you find out more about yourself and your innate talents, and they make for a great start in your journey towards honing your communication skills.
After all, there’s a lot more time to read while in self-isolation – so use it!
3. Talk it out
If you are not quarantining alone, but in the company of friends, family, or partner, you need to keep an open communication line.
This will help you solve any problems that may come up as a result of you being together 24/7.
No matter how much you love and respect the people around you, having to be together all the time can be annoying and the source of many unnecessary arguments.
Discussing any issues that arise will make you not only a better communicator but also a much more empathetic person, too.
4. Play some games
From playing board games to online MMORPGs, social isolation doesn’t have to feel so isolating!
If you are already an online gamer, then you know for a fact that you can connect with people just as effectively as in person when you are playing with your teammates.
Many friendships and even romantic relationships have been born out of online gaming.
If you don’t find the love of your life, you can, at the very list, become a more skilled player by strategizing and working with your teammates towards the shared goal of winning!
The same applies to board games played with whomever you are quarantining with.
Board games are a fun and bonding experience for everyone involved, and they make for a prime opportunity to learn how to read cues from your fellow players and, at times, communicate even without speaking!
All those invaluable communication skills can be practised in isolation – you just have to give them a go and allow yourself to relax in the process!
Communication skills and personality development go hand-in-hand, and, by investing them, you have the chance to improve all aspects of your life: work, family, and personal relationships.
Regardless of the situation the world is in, you should never forget that there are always ways to improve.
Whether in self-isolation or not, you always have a chance to work on yourself and to become a more efficient communicator and, as a result, become a better friend, colleague, family member, and partner.
Let us know in the comments: has self-isolation impacted your communication skills?
If so, how it felt?
What do you plan on doing to reverse its effects?
Previously Published on The Relationship Guy