What is communication? How can we define it? First of all let’s understand it’s origin and it’s meaning. Communication is derived from the Latin word “communis” meaning to share something or hold in common. Communication can be defined in following ways:
Communication is the process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, speech, signals, writing or behavior. First, let’s try to answer the most pertinent management question. What is important in motivating people, forming a successful team, getting all your work done? Answer is simple. Successful communication skills! It demands efforts, it needs motivation. Motivational speaker, Tony Robin stated that for effective communication we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive. So we must respect each other’s perspective, then only we would lead to a successful communication.
Arguing is not communication. It is noise. But responding without understanding is also not communication. We all have our own choice to say yes or no. That choice is the medium of communication. If you express that answer politely then only you can have an effective communication. “You should know how to present your point in front of others. There should be no chance of confusion with you.”
Winston Churchill said “it is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip”. If you qualify telling even rude words in such a way that they turn to as good words for the listener than you are the master of communication. This is how communication impacts the world.
In today’s fast going world one needs to understand the importance of connecting with others and the ways to do so. Most of us take the meaning of word communication as verbal conversation. Does it mean only verbal communication? No, it’s half the statement. Communication can be verbal, nonverbal or the body language. It simply states that in today’s world what is said is important but what is not said is equally important, Even the hidden objective is taken into consideration. Communication skills are of more importance than anything else, as it holds the personality of a person. As the old saying says that there is a large difference in the word ‘having something to say and having to say something’. They look similar but meaning of both is different.
Content, being the king in communication, plays a major role in changing the whole personality. Here again who takes the hold of audience or the listeners? More patient the audience more is your benefit. But understanding audience is critical. They can understand even what you have not spoken. You might be thinking what is the difference? Difference is as clear. The one who understands what you have not spoken is living in the present. He is there with his mind and soul in what you are doing. Your communication skills including verbal, nonverbal and your body language play a vital role here. So if the listener is impressed by your communication skills then only he will be active in the process and further interaction or communication is possible.
It’s not one way process. It is open and two way path. It can be either the speaker affects the listeners by asking questions, seeing to his body language or understanding him/her, can be the other way round also. Again a question arises on the lifestyle which you are living. Are you satisfied with it? Is your concentration level upto the mark to meet the present day requirement? Or you are still in some dreams while a lecture or another topic has started?
Today’s requirement demands near 100% accuracy and concentration for a wonderful and beneficial communication. The famous Management Consultant, Peter Drucker has stated that most important thing in communication does, understand what is not said. Observing this way, you can understand the full concept of what is being spoken. Hence communication is not defined by its effectiveness but the response of effectiveness. Audience plays a major role no matter it is one or many. Until and unless communication serves the purpose of the listeners, it is of no use. A well said quote will completely set your minds to it. “Communication is dream more – compare less, listen more – talk less, love more – argue less, hope more – fear less, relax more – worry less, believe more – complain less, play more – work less.”
These quotes can be taken as the steps to a successful communication. Author of the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey has well said that often people have character strength but they lack communication skills. And that affects the quality of relationships. Generation gap is the best example to support the above statement.
Communication must not be complicated. It may not use very extensive vocabulary, it may be as simple but as clear as possible. If ideas are not drawn into action, they just turn to be simple paper work. Only with the help of communication skills ideas can turn the dreams to a reality.
There are 6 critical aspects of personality which every individual needs to analyze and review. One may be extremely efficient in the work, highly qualified, good at application of mind and yet he/she may miss out on some crucial issues that concern life.
- Communication Skills: These skills are very important and often undermined and ignored. Speech and written communication are the vehicles of our expression. If we have great thoughts but we cannot express these effectively, the process affects our self confidence. Likewise in the negotiations even though we may be right, have all necessary information, great arguments, yet if our verbal communication skills are in any way lacking; we miss out on opportunities.
- Interpersonal Skills: Interpersonal skills refer to our ability to connect with other people. It refers to our competence to influence people around us at the work place or at home for the desired results. Intentions are indeed important. But if our communication does not reflect and establish our intention, the goodness is wasted. Associated with it is your reliability. And also, how you conduct yourself and your behavior.
- Leadership Skills: Even if you don’t have a single follower, you still are a leader. You lead yourself. That is extremely important. Like a good leader if you analyze your strengths and weaknesses, if you make best use of time, if you are self aware, and if you take care of mental or physical health, nothing will stop you from leading yourself and others very efficiently. In the present competitive environment the leadership skills have assumed even greater importance.
- Assertiveness: Assertiveness is not aggression though it is often confused with aggression. It represents your talent to be able to say ‘no’ when you want to say ‘no’. Often times it seems that because of various considerations and because of fear that we may offend others, even when we don’t want to say ‘yes’ we do so. It puts us to lot of difficulties. At other times we have to face problems with members of our family and friends. How to say ‘no’ without offending the other person is nothing short of an art. It is to be developed. It is to be continuously mastered. This art requires cordiality in your tone, coordination between the mind and the speech and active listening. The proficiency in language is also very important to create proper impression.
- Body language, Grooming and Image management: Body language may be considered as a part of your communication skills but it is also a part of your physical personality. Positive body language means that you stand comfortably on your feet. Straight but never stooping even a little or bringing out your chest. Wearing a slight smile on your face with a relaxed look of peace, would add to the physical personality. Grooming is also important. What to wear when to wear indeed makes a difference. Of late quite a bit of emphasis is also put on image management. What is image management? It is the impression which you create on people when you meet them first time. It is said that the 15 seconds make a lasting impact. It may be debatable. However image management has become an important aspect of one’s personality.
- Time Management: Last but not the least; you need to be a very efficient manager of your time. This great resource is equally distributed to all of us. Our productivity and growth depends among other things on its use. In order to check where we lose time or do not manage effectively, we must make a ‘Time Log’ for 2 to 3 days. ‘Time Log’ is a list of details of your activities routine, small or big on daily basis. You can identify then where you can save time or be more efficient. Besides, we need to focus on what we do. Prioritizing is also important. Above all, discipline must be maintained which means you do things which need to be done at a particular time even if you don’t like it.
I do not claim that the above that 6 aspects comprise the total personality. However these are the main areas which should be reviewed periodically. Life is extremely interesting when we are self aware, when we know ‘what we are’, when we realize our objectives and keep on working to achieve these bit by bit.
Thanks for reading