We all know that the major contributing factor behind peaceful & healthy relationships rest on the power of ‘effective communication’, whether these are personal relations, professional interactions or relations between tribes and nations.
Knowing is one thing and practicing is another… That is the dilemma of life. Why we don’t practice this…there are many reasons behind it...
In the first place, there are different kinds of personalities as per the several defined models in psychology. The Right brained & Left brained’, the ‘Introvert & Extrovert’, and the famous & widely used the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 16 personalities types.
These personality types reveal that there is some basic fixed code you are born with – Most of the time you have very limited freedom to play and modify the original code. Most of your practical life will be based on what you are born with.
Moreover, we are also product of many more things – The code we are born with, the parents we are born with – the geographic place, the country, the schooling & education, the home environment, the parents’ role in upbringing and the society we live in and many more…
We are talking about more than 10 factors which shape us what we are. So we can well understand why we act the way we do – sometimes shy & reserved, sometimes outspoken & bold, sometimes logical & methodical & sometimes vague and intuitive…
All the misgivings & misunderstandings resulting in bitter relationships, divorces, fights, murders, battles and even wars spring out of extreme lack of proper communication, opposing ideologies leading to misunderstanding, hatred, hostility & enmity.
In order to improve the level of communication in our practical lives, as an individual, we have to understand the following four major elements of effective communication.
We start our lives with hearing or listening when we are infants, then we start talking or speaking, then at the third stage in schools, we start reading and finally at the fourth stage we learn the skills of writing.
It requires that you should be patient first to remain quiet and let the other person say out with all the emotions – and not to be interrupted in between. Moreover, active listening requires an attentive listening attitude by actually nodding and leaning forward. These gestures will provide the non verbal cues that the speaker is being properly listened to…
The language should be clear while speaking, pace balanced and accentuation in the voice should reflect emotion and concern. This will create an impact on the other.
Reading should be for the purpose of understanding the ‘meaning’ and getting involved and having an absorbing experience. Mere skimming the surface or cramming may not serve the purpose; it is short lived and will evaporate soon from the mind.
As it says – whatever you do, ‘do it from your heart’ – well it aptly applies on the skill of writing. This skill is very much in the domain of an ‘art’ that is also one of the reasons that we have very few good writers.
Although, these four elements of communication are important for proper & effective communication, however, most of the time, in our daily lives, we are using only two – listening & speaking. Even then, if we start to improve these two skills, we can improve our lives & relationships with better results.
It is important to know and be aware of what good & ‘effective communication’ is all about, without this basic knowledge, we certainly cannot improve it.
We should try to keep on improving in these skills simply because it really benefits us; whether you go for a job interview, for any office presentation, any professional interaction, any business dealing, any personal conversations between friends & relatives or even handling difficult people or situations. You will experience that you will start gaining an edge, with new found realization that there exists a power in ‘effective communication’.
By: Z, Ahmad