BABOK v3 Section 9.4 - Communication Skills
by Barbara Griffith, CCBA
BABOK v3 section 9.4 - Communication Skills
In BABOK v2 Communication Skills are in 8.4 and are broken out a bit differently. The first skill in v2 in 8.4.1 is Oral Communications, and in v3 it's called Verbal in 9.4.1. In each version of the BABOK, each section is organized in the same manner: Purpose (.1), Definition (.2) and Effectiveness Measures (.3).
In v2 the first topic is Oral Communications. Non-verbal cues are included in this competency section. The tone of communications is stressed, and the recommendation is that oral communications are best used when the information to be used is intended for near-term use. V3 expands upon the definition and nature of verbal communication, describing the dialogue of verbal and non-verbal communications, and including the importance of tone and active listening. The effectiveness of verbal communications comes into play when restating or paraphrasing concepts, delivering presentations, and remaining calm and rational while proposing solutions.
The second topic in v2 is Teaching. V2 stresses the differing ways in which people learn: such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. The effectiveness of teaching calls for verifying that learners have acquired the intended knowledge.
In v3 the second topic is Non-Verbal Communication. In this section it is stressed that body language should be aligned to any message being conveyed verbally. An effectiveness measure would be awareness of body language as a tool and a sign of possible miscommunication, noticing and resolving discrepancies between verbal and non-verbal messages. This might prove especially beneficial when obtaining and assessing stakeholder agreement with proposed solutions.
In both v2 and v3, Written Communication is the third topic. The ability to produce clear and polished written materials is stressed, necessitating a broad vocabulary and good grasp of grammar and style. Effectiveness can be judged by the willingness and ability of the recipient to grasp the content of the material.
V3 includes an additional section: Listening. This section advocates active listening, in which the listener summarizes and repeats back the message to the sender to ensure that communication is accurately understood. Giving the speaker undivided attention, deferring judgement, being responsive and providing feedback are all important as an active listener.