Communication is a two-way process, which involves receiving and sending messages. It is the means of connecting with others in our daily lives, both personal and professional. Communication is an interpersonal skill that is fundamental to success in many aspects. Jobs nowadays require strong communication skills and people with good communication skills are able to create better rapport.
If communication is not effective, a lot of problems may arise. Communication may be considered as an art form and those who are able to communicate effectively, get their ideas across rather clearly. Poor communication gives rise to errors, where the sender of message may mean one thing and the receiver of the message might get a completely wrong idea. This will lead to a domino effect and will require rigorous mitigation of the communication errors.
There is a prevalent belief that only those who are extroverts are good communicators and that good communication is an intrinsic skill exclusive to those who are born with this skill. This is rather a misconception. Good communication is like a habit which once developed, persists like a natural instinct throughout one’s lifetime. Development of effective communication requires the awareness of certain factors, practice and learning from experience. Communication is not just limited to the baseline of oral and verbal means. Good communication also extends to nonverbal indicators.
One can become adept at communicating effectively by internalizing certain practices. These will give them an edge and make them better at getting their points across without losing any part of the message in the communication process. Furthermore, these practices are not theoretically developed, rather are dependent heavily on the assessment of situations and circumstances.
These are some of the practices that will help in communicating effectively:
Learning to listen: Hearing and listening are not the same thing. It is important to not just listen to the words being spoken but also to focus on how they are being spoken. It is crucial to pay attention to the non-verbal messages being sent with the verbal messages.
PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO CONVERSATION: It is necessary to be aware of the messages that are being sent via the non-verbal channels. These include vocal tones, physical gestures, eye contact, body language, etc.
Being aware of other people’s emotions: Emotional intelligence plays a great role in understanding the emotional effect of the message being communicated. This will help to communicate within the norms of acceptable behavior without unintentionally portraying oneself as an insensitive and apathetic person.
Empathizing: In this case, it is important to develop empathy, which means to understand things from the point of view of others.
Being clear and succinct: Offer your personal viewpoints clearly to avoid any confusion in the communication process.
Self-monitoring: Develop the ability to observe and regulate the behavior and attitude of others to adjust to different social situations and deal with expressive controls.
Nabila Hossain is a senior at IBA, University of Dhaka. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org