When we stress the importance of communication in life on a daily basis, it constitutes the essence of maintaining strong relationships. If we get to keep our relationships with different kinds of people around us strong and healthy, our morale would also stay high and stable. This is indeed the primary reason why good communication is a must.
Healthy relationships come from good communication. Communication is an essential tool in almost every sphere of life; in love, business, and life in general. It is what keeps relationships standing firm.
Furthermore, it improves the quality of life. It can be as simple as asking strangers for directions or getting the best price in the market to making new friends and getting high grades. In addition, a good negotiation is needed in getting the best deal in a job or even asking for promotion. You can also make a living out of communicating well.
Even if it is not part of your primary work, communication is still necessary every day in every aspect of your life until it becomes a part of your identity. On the other hand, failure to communicate well is like removing the foundation of a house. Everything will fall.
In this age when trading of information is everywhere, it is imperative to be good at it. First, you have to understand every aspect of communication.
If you are looking for a way to have better communication with your partner, you might want to read 17 Best Communication Exercises for Couples to Grow Closer
The Communication Process
Communication is rarely one-way. In a conversation, you can be the person who initiates the discourse, and the listener who interprets the message. Understanding each element of the communication process will help in being a good communicator – a sender and receiver of the message.
The sender is the person who aims to convey information to another. He initiates the communication process, and usually chooses the type of medium. His confidence, competence, personality, body language, and the chosen channel may affect how the delivery of information and interpretation.
The message is the subject matter of the communication process. It can be any ideas, thoughts, feelings, opinions, and/or facts that the sender wishes to convey.
Channel is the chosen medium to send the information. There are many ways to send a message. It can be oral, written, virtual, or a combination of several mediums.
Along with oral communication, body language like facial expressions, hand gestures, postures, eye contact, or lack thereof play an important role in its interpretation.
The receiver is the intended recipient of the information. His experiences, upbringing, personal beliefs, and opinions may affect the interpretation of the message.
Feedback is the reply or reaction of the receiver upon receiving the message. However, it does not end with the receiver’s feedback.
The sender may also send another message. Thus, the interaction between the two creates two-way communication.
It is more effective because the sender will know if the receiver interpreted the message the right way. If not, one must to explain further by clarifying and sending additional information.
The communication process aims to send information wherein it can be interpreted by the receiver the way it was intended by the sender.
We can say that effective communication happens when there is an understanding between the sender and the receiver. If communication is as easy as it seems to be, then what causes misunderstanding?
Communication is not merely sending and receiving information. As much as you want things to be as simple as ‘sender’ sending a ‘message’ through a ‘channel’ to the ‘receiver’, it is not. Sometimes, overcoming barriers to is a requirement to reach an understanding.
These are grouped into ‘Four types of noise that disrupt communication’ as described by Jason Norris:
Physical noise is any interference that is external to both sender and receiver. It can be loud music, the sound of cars passing by, the chatter of people around the area, and other sounds that may distract the sending and receiving of information.
Physiological noise is a barrier created by the sender and receiver. It can be using a different language or accent, talking too fast, or hearing problems for the listener.
Psychological noise is a mental interference of sender and receiver. It can be preconceived ideas, stereotypes, personality, beliefs, and personal biases.
This is the kind of noise that is much harder to overcome, especially for people who have contrasting ideas.
It is ingrained deep in every individual. To overcome this, an open mind and willingness to listen, and respect for each perspective is a must.
When the sender and receiver have different meaning systems, it creates a semantic noise. For example, using jargon when talking to people with different backgrounds and fields may cause misunderstanding.
Types of Communication
The four basic categories of communication are as follows:
- Verbal Communication
Verbal communication involves listening to the person talking in order to understand the meaning of their words. The message is orally conveyed. It can take place either over the phone or in person.
- Written Communication
Written communication, on the other hand, does not involve talking. The message is conveyed through written text. The receiver reads the words written by the sender to understand their meaning.
- Nonverbal Communication
Even though words are necessary to successfully understand someone’s message, nonverbal cues can also be used to do the same.
Facial expressions, body stance, and tone of voice can already tell you so many things. Isn’t it cool? You can deliver a message without actually saying a word. Silence is a message.
- Visual Communication
Messages can also be sent using visual media such as photographs, videos, MIDI files, and charts. This type of communication is perfect for transferring statistical data.
You see, communication is powerful. We can send messages in many ways. We can say something by speaking, writing, and even by simply raising an eyebrow.
However, the challenge here is not whether you can communicate or not, but how well you can deliver your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
With the never-ending advancement of technologies, communication has a lot more channels to go through. You can now talk to someone from across the world anytime, anywhere, and in any weather.
Especially nowadays, when we face tribulations caused by concerns over the pandemic, communication is a bit harder to maintain.
Communication in Business
Business communication is vital in maintaining the strength of your organization’s morale. Without effective communication, employees will have the tendency to be demotivated, and productivity will decrease.
Companies or employers who do their best to keep communication in the workplace as effective as possible are definitely on the right track.
A leader must exhibit brilliant communication skills to be called a good leader.
You cannot expect your people to do their tasks well without telling them exactly what you want the output to be. Do not put the blame on them, and say that they should have known what you wanted from them because basically, they were not born to be mind-readers.
Each person has a different way of thinking, and what you think is wrong could be right for others. This is why you need to communicate all the necessary information and all specifications regarding their tasks.
With good communication, Everyone can avoid conflicts in the workplace, and build trust among employees.
An employee with effective communication skills is an asset to the organization. And everyone wants to be an asset, rather than a liability. However, effective communication skills are not that easy to achieve. Factors such as upbringing and personality type should be considered.
Effective communication generally depends on the communication skills of both the receiver and the sender, and how well they deliver and interpret messages.
Moreover, being able to communicate effectively puts you in a good light. It gives people the impression that you are not someone they can just pick on. It protects you from some sort of judgment.
Poor communication could be your worst nightmare. Imagine having your first day at work ruined just because you and your immediate head were not able to effectively communicate with each other.
Your boss might have announced the instructions of your task from the perspective of someone who has done the task many times already.
On your end, you failed to tell him that the instructions handed to you were inadequate and unclear. You see, one can find effective communication at the core of any kind of relationship.
Furthermore, effective communication in the workplace has lots of benefits. Avoid misunderstandings, and achieve company goals without overlooking important information.
Resolve of conflicts between employees using creative methods. Good communication gives fulfilment to employees by making them feel valued as they are able to share their feelings and ideas.
However, it is not just about saying what you have to say. You need to be able to deliver your thoughts clearly. The manner of your delivery is a crucial factor. You must be able to deliver your message with the right words and intonation.
Here are some reasons or potential benefits why you need to maintain effective communication in the workplace:
- Employees are motivated to work productively.
- When employees consistently receive truthful feedback and appreciation from their superiors, they are more likely to work more passionately.
- employees can introduce more innovative ideas because they feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.
- Employees feel valued, which leads to less tardiness and turnover rates.
- Personnel can eliminate misunderstandings in the workplace due to various factors.
- When the employees’ have good communication skills, your organization has higher chances to succeed in global marketplaces.
- Employees who have already proven their skills and competency will continue to get positive feedback from their immediate heads.
- Good communication can avoid conflicts between employees, and they can have harmonious collaboration.
- Through effective communication, employee morale will remain strong and high.
If you are struggling with communicating your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, you might want to get a copy of the book, Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person by James W. Williams.
Also, there are online courses available on the internet. Visit the Confidence University for the best training programs and courses.
Improving Your Communication Skills
Now that you are familiar with the basics of communication and its benefits, we will provide you with some tips that will help in enhancing your communication ability.
Know your weakness in communication
Facing your weaknesses head-on will not be easy, but it will help in being a more effective communicator. Perhaps you can’t articulate your thoughts whenever you are talking in public. Maybe you find it hard to talk to new people because small talk is not one of your strong suits.
The key to overcome this is to do it as often as you can. You will learn different ideas and techniques from talking to other people. Time will come when it will not be as hard as it used to be and you will be able to enjoy it.
Know your audience
Different audiences require different techniques. For example, talking to children and adults is very different. Children need a livelier speaker, colorful illustration, and engaging topics; otherwise; they will find other interesting things to do.
Talking to adults needs a thought-provoking and heart touching topic that they will be able to relate well. Aside from age, you also have to consider the number of recipients, who they are, what they do, and then present the idea in a way that will interest them.
Think and Listen
Before conveying the information, it is important to think and articulate the words clearly. Identify the main points and secondary points in order to avoid talking nonsensical. Second, listen to the audience. The message, medium, and sender are as important as the recipient.
Observe your nonverbal skills
Your nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication, especially when speaking in public. Aside from helping in sending the message clearly, it reflects the speaker’s personality, competence and confidence.
Respect other people’s opinion
When communicating, you will encounter people that have contrasting views. It is important to keep listening and respecting other people’s beliefs even if you don’t agree with them. Always remember that the aim of communication is to understand and be understood.
Nothing beats learning from the experience. Not being good at something should push you to do better and improve yourself. The more you practice, the better you will be.
Moreover, if you want to improve your skills by learning from the expert, you may want to check the Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person by James W. Williams.