So often I'm asked if communication skills are really that important for every day life. I've developed a quote I'd like to put on every bumper sticker. "While you may manage to live your entire life without making a speech, you will not get through one day without communicating something to someone!" The past week, while I was posting about the National Words Matter Week contest, there were several news stories that came across my eDesk that illustrate the reasons behind why communication skills are not just needed for lawyers and politicians. Here are two: An article from March 5, 2010 states Doctors urged to do more listening as complaints about care increase Among other things it states "Officials say up to 90 per cent of complaints stem from misunderstandings between doctor and patient and, as a result, unrealistic expectations." It goes on to say, "Dr Jamal al Kaabi, a senior investigator at the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD), said doctors should be aware that quality care ran in tandem with good communication...If a physician would allow just five more minutes of his time to listen to concerns properly, it would solve around 70 or 80 per cent of the problem." A few years ago. I read where the AMA announced plans to begin teaching young interns about communication skills in order to avoid just such misunderstandings and the law suits that stem from them. In fact, many conflicts are the result of miscommunication or misunderstanding. Recent surveys say that the most common reason for a marriage to end is lack of effective communication. It is small wonder. As you read through your Bible this year, take note of how many times the Lord cautions us or instructs us about our tongues, mouths and lips! Communication skills are what build our relationships and they are what can keep us out of all manner of trouble in life. Many other industries are facing issues due to lack of effective communication. Communication is so much a part of relationships that it is impossible to separate effective communication skills from the work we do each day whether it be in our personal or professional lives. Another article from March 3, 2010 reports that recently a judge ruled against religious expression. It seems that Butte High School admits asking valedictorians to "speak about what helped them get through school. Some people wanted to thank the football coach or the track coach or their uncle or a particular teacher, and they were permitted to do that," explains Griffith's attorney, Bill O'Connor. 'The only thing they would not permit, by their own admission, was...her to attribute any achievements to her belief in God.'" Part of the reason God gives us a voice is because He asks us to speak out and speak up for godly values and Christian principles as well as to share the Gospel with others. News items like this remind us about how important it is that we learn to do this effectively and in grace. Additionally, we need to train our children to face these issues with excellent communication skills if they are to be successful in their personal and professional lives-especially as it relates to sharing the Good News and speaking up for Christian values. If you would like a fun and easy way to learn these skills or to teach your children these vital skills, Art of Eloquence has some creative and fun studies and MANY free resources listed on our site. Come check it out and, while you are visiting, sign up for our free newsletter with exclusive articles and free gifts JUST for AoE subscribers!