Communication is one of the most important tools with which we carry out our daily activities, at work and home, hence, an essential aspect of our daily lives. Communication is the exchange of information between a sender and a receiver through a channel that must bear a communicative commonality between both parties. The communication process can only be complete when both parties comprehend and understand the messages being exchanged. It is the chain of understanding that integrates all the parties involved in the communication process.
As important as communication is, in our personal and business lives, so also is the ability to ensure its effectiveness, in order for it to serve its purpose.
However, there are numerous problems which affect our communication and thus hinder its effectiveness.
More often than not, team members allow simple issues that could be solved by being polite, analytical and constructive to degenerate into conflict situations, when all parties refuse to reason along the path of what is being communicated.
There is no doubt that up till this present day, the lack of honest and open communication is a common denominator in our dysfunctional families, societies and business relationships. Over 60% of work place problems are as a result of the lack of effective communication, causing a breakdown of the process. This trend increasingly, implies that there is still the need to foster effective communication in within organisations, especially among teams working to achieve success.
For communication to be effective and meaningful, you should always say what you mean the way you mean it and communicate your thoughts, feelings and opinions in a healthy and constructive way. The way you communicate is a manifestation of who you are, as an individual and this says a lot about you.
Learning to communicate effectively, not only helps you maintain a good work environment and peaceful co-existence among team members, it also allows you gain trust, and boosts your self-confidence.
Sometimes, being able to communicate effectively may require great practice, and a need to overcome your fear. It may seem a natural thing to communicate to other people, but the process of communicating effectively, is such a complex one, that may even become more difficult, if you do not know what to expect from whoever your communication is directed at. The ability to initiate conversation, keep it going and end it appropriately, is a fundamental skill, which is necessary for successful work place interactions, effective team building , personal development and for healthy various social interactions.
To ensure that your communication achieve your desired results, trying these tips will definitely simplify the process for you.
- Learn to be a good listener: This is the heart of communication, because conflicts, misunderstanding and communication breakdown occur, because of lack of effective listening. More often than not, When you are sending a message to the receiver, you fail to listen to the spoken and unspoken words, which causes the rupture. As much as you want to be a good communicator, so also should you learn to listen effectively. That way, the process will take the right shape and be effectively completed. We all know the hurt we feel when we realise that someone we are talking to is not listening, to us, particularly, to our unspoken words. For any communication to be effective, listening is perhaps more important than talking, as the understanding that exists between both parties greatly, forms the bond. To build a work place team, understanding communication and listening in an empathetic, non-judgemental way, is important.
- Speak not, out of frustration: Do not talk out of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, etc. This is because anger ruptures the communication flow. Ensuring that you are calm and present helps you take control of what you will be saying, and this of course, add value to the process.
- Mind your tone – The words we choose in our communication matters to an extent, but far more is the way we have chosen to use these words. For example, when you have to give instructions, make requests, ask for suggestions, etc, using words that will depict the right intention is crucial. Also, sequential, logical, clear and direct communication, delivers better results than when muddled up.
- Understanding your communication skills: When you identify and understand your communication deficiencies, this will help you learn and structure your pattern and style of communication, to ensure its effectiveness. Always take time to study yourself and find ways to improve where necessary and be open to gaining new paths and approaches in your communication methods and styles. Applying necessary and basic communication techniques at different times, will ensure the balance and effectiveness you require in achieving your communication goals.
- Learn to communicate your thoughts, feelings and opinions openly, honestly, and straightforwardly. Do not assume that your recipient knows what you intend to say. Always communicate with the spirit of understanding, positivity and respect.
It is a personal responsibility to enhance the power of your communication skills and potential and of utmost importance to use it, positively to your advantage. The way you communicate tells other people how you perceive yourself and also influences how other people relate to you.