Shamelessly nicking more themes from more inventive folks blogs, I happily found Hospital Wallpaper's medical student blog after she commented below. She wrote about communication skills and wondered :
"Can communications skills be learnt or are they inherent in a person's character?"
I don't think it's that black or white a nature/nurture thing. If someone's inherently good at it, that's great. But I know medics with a brain the size of Saturn who really are great at diagnosis and therapy but were bad communicators who have improved lots. Experience in medicine, maturity, training can help.
What helps me improve more than anything is what Hospital Wallpaper did. She sat in and saw a clinician communicate. You learn what they do well, and nick that, and what they could do better, so learn to do it differently.
Every week I go on joint visits with nursing colleagues, every week I'm aware of little things they do better than I do, that I nick in my approach to consultations.