Many people equate good communication skills with the ability to speak well and listen well. This assumption misses one essential component: two-way communication skills.
Primarily written for mentors, this advice on good two-way communication is particularly useful for all. I especially like the Traffic Light Rule of communication:
During the first 30 seconds of an utterance, your light is green. That means your protÃ©gÃ© is listening and not thinking you talk too much. During the next 30 seconds, your light is yellow. That means the risk is increasing that your listener is bored, overwhelmed, or dying to respond. After the one-minute mark, your light is red. Yes, occasionally, you can go beyond a minute, for example, when telling an interesting story, but generally you should stop or ask a question.