Skills: Communication

This page provides the full explanation of Communication and examples of skills that are related to the attribute.

Two heads talking, with different communication symbols around them - skilled communicators

University of Edinburgh graduates use skilled communication to enhance their understanding of a topic or context and to engage effectively with others.

Below are some examples of skills and abilities that contribute to a student's overall skills in Communication.  Skills and abilities in this area vary from individual to individual, from discipline to discipline and from situation to situation.  It is important to recognise what skills are relevant and how these skills need to be adapted for the situation in which they will be used.

Staff should be helping, supporting and encouraging students to learn about and develop these skills. Students need to reflect on what skills they have, what skills they need and how these can be developed, and then seeking out relevant opportunities to strengthen and develop these skills.

Example skills Key aspects include:
Interpersonal skills
  • use appropriate communication styles through understanding the needs of others and empathy towards them
  • effective communicators who are able to read and write, present, listen, influence and network
  • an interactive communicator
  • the ability to have difficult conversations/deal with conflict effectively



Verbal communication and presentation
  • develop oral communication of complex ideas and arguments using a range of media
  • enhance verbal communication – including listening and questioning
  • communicate and persuade—both orally and in writing
  • articulate and effectively explain information
Cross-cultural communication
  • be sensitive to and understand the diversity in people and different situations including online
  • equipped with the skills to operate in a global environment…cross-cultural and remote working
  • have multicultural and global awareness
  • have a capacity to thrive in a globalised society and economy, and an awareness of other cultures
  • ability to adapt your communication style for different people, situations and cultures
Written communications
  • be able to communicate complex ideas and arguments in writing using a range of media from formal writing to social media
  • have the ability to produce clear, structured written work
  • articulating and effectively explaining information
Influencing and negotiation skills
  • have the ability to negotiate or persuade and influence others
  • build and maintain relationships
  • develop and use emotional intelligence and empathy
  • using skills in networking and persuasion
  • sociability and team building
Social media
  • have an awareness of the different forms of social media
  • understand when and how it is best to communicate through social media
  • understand that social media leaves a digital footprint
  • look into the best way to promote themselves through social media, if they wish to