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  1. #1
    AWPerator Guest

    Default Meaning of the phase "Working on one's communication skill"

    Not a teacher.

    Hello.

    I am an ESL student. Understanding and applying euphemism is one of my weak points. Today, I would like to discuss a phase that we hear frequently:

    "Bob, you need to work on your communication skill."

    My girlfriend asks me to "improve my communication skill" every once in a while. Typically, she says that after I forget to do what she have asked, such as paying the bill, taking her to shopping, doing some errand for her, writing Thank-you notes to her parents. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that the phase is actually a euphemism for a personal complaint, a disguised grievance on something other than communication skill itself. In this example involving my girlfriend, I do not think I have problem with communicating. My problems are actually laziness, negliance, and irresponsibility. I recognize she is not pleased because I have repeatedly ignored her. Improvement is needed for our relationship as well as my character, rather than my communication skill. I believe we share a consensus on this "issue" (yay! euphemism.), but my girlfriend doesn't want to say it directly.

    Back to the original topic. Do native English speakers actually mean "I am very displeased with you in general. You need to pay me more respect and give me more attention." when they say "you need to work on your communication skills?"

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Meaning of the phase "Working on one's communication skill"

    They are saying that you are not very good at making yourself understood, and that you are not very good at considering what other people need to know.

    nb "communication skills".

  3. #3
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of the phase "Working on one's communication skill"

    I think you have to consider different types of "communication".

    Such as "emotional communication" for instance.

    Generally, the term could quite easily be taken as a personal criticism, as a person's ability to communicate is a very important character trait. More so than others such as "cooking skills" or "driving skills".

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