Let's take a closer look. I also added some extra information at the end of this response for consideration, to help with your final copy.
1. I need help to come up with the one 'best' communication skill and one 'best' conflict management skill, and then help writing a short response in defense of my two choices, with any references.
One 'best' communication skill: Active Listening
Active or Reflective Listening is the single most useful and important communication skills, even though it works with other skills, but in order to respond effectively, one must fist understand the message through active listening. In active listening we are also genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting or what the message means, and we are active in checking out our understanding before we respond with our own new message. We restate or paraphrase our understanding of their message and reflect it back to the sender for verification. "What I think I heard you say was...Is that right? This verification or feedback process is what distinguishes active listening and makes it effective. There is a real distinction between merely hearing the words and really listening for the message. When we listen effectively we understand what the person is thinking and/or feeling from the other person's own perspective. It is as if we were standing in the other person's shoes, seeing through his/her eyes and listening through the person's ears. Our own viewpoint may be different and we may not necessarily agree with the person, but as we listen, we understand from the others perspective. To listen effectively, we must be actively involved in the communication process, and not just listening passively. (Nadig, 2009, http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm)
Active listening is important because we all act and respond on the basis of our understanding, and too often there is a misunderstanding that neither of us is aware of. With active listening, however, if a misunderstanding has occurred, it is immediately known, and the communication can then be clarified before any further misunderstanding occurs. There are several other benefits from active listening that make it the "best" communication skill, including:
* Sometimes a person just needs to be heard and acknowledged before the person is willing to consider an alternative or soften his /her position.
* It is often easier for a person to listen to and consider the other's position when that person knows the other is listening and considering his/her position.
* It helps people to spot the flaws in their reasoning when they hear it played back without criticism.
* It also helps identify areas of agreement so the areas of disagreement are put in perspective and are diminished rather than magnified.
* Reflecting back what we hear each other say helps give each a chance to become aware of the different levels that are going on below the surface. This helps to bring things into the open where they can be more readily resolved.
* If we accurately understand the other person's view, we can be more effective in helping the person see the flaws in his/her position.
* If we listen so we can accurately understand the other's view, we can also be more effective in discovering the flaws in our own position. (Nadig, 2009, http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm)
One 'best' conflict management skill: Reframing
Although active listening is also important in conflict management , reframing is one of the most powerful tools in dealing with conflict. Reframing means to reinterpret a statement or comment into a problem-solving frame. It is important for several reasons.
For example, it helps you see the other person in a more positive light, which is helpful in solving the conflict. For example, if someone is yelling and screaming, don't think of the person as being disrespectful and rude, but reframe your perception of that person as having limited skills in expressing themselves (easier said than done, right?).
In addition, helping the other person reframe the conflict into a problem is helpful to engage and gain trust. One way involves asking for their advice-- helps in conflict resolution. ...
This solution discusses one 'best' communication skill and one 'best' conflict management skill, and why they are seen as important. References are provided.