A communication skill is defined as the ability to effectively achieve one’s communicative goals or the proficiency with which one engages in particular communication behaviors. That is, individuals are considered to possess a communication skill when they are able to effectively produce or process messages in a particular context. Communication skills apply to all contexts of human communication, including but not limited to professional communication, organizational communication, small group communication, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, health communication, public speaking, and mass communication. This entry focuses particularly on how communication skills are studied within communication research. The types of questions that communication researchers often ask relating to communication skills are reviewed and several methods for operationalizing communication skills within research designs are outlined.
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