Management Tools

Effective Communication

Introduction

Effective communication is vital to your success. It may be the determining factor of your future. Effective communication is not something that we are born with. It is something that we learn. Just like any other skills, you become better and better when you practise effective communication skills. Effective communication is essential and fondtional to all relationships, personal or professional.

Human behaviour and communication

Here are 10 basic facts about human behaviour with regards to communication. The more you understand these facts and apply them in your communication with others, the more success you have in your communication in your persoanl and work life.

  1. The success of your communication is not determined by what your message does to the listener but by what the listener does with your message. Hence, the proverb about good advice that falls on deaf ears. So, it is always wise for you to begin with the listener’s perspective than your own.
  2. Most listeners interpret messages in such a way to make themselves feel comfortable and secure. To put it simply, most people tend to operate with a degree of denial. The greater the feelings of discomfort and insecurity evoked by the message, the greater is the denial. So, always allow the person sufficient time to move from a position of denial to a position of reality.
  3. People are more likely to defend and reinforce their values when you attack them blatantly. The less threatened people are, the more likely they are to consider messages that are negative.
  4. People usually pay more attention to messages that are relevant to their situations or circumstances. When they perceive that your message is irrelevant to them, they will ignore you no matter how good or important you think your message is.
  5. When people feel insecure in a relationship, they stop listening. They disregard the message because they question your intention and do not believe that you have their interest at heart.
  6. The more you listen to others, the more they listen to you. They feel that you have acted fairly and are ready to take on board what you have to say.
  7. People are less likely to change if you do not provide the necessary opportunity and environment for change. Instruction alone is insufficient for change. People need a positive environment to put into practice their ideas about change.
  8. Consultation ensures the acceptance of a proposal for change. Consultation reinforces to the listeners that they are important to you irrespective of their positions.
  9. The meaning of a message lies in the way that it is interpreted than the way that it is articulated. The more knowledge you have about your listeners, the more accurate you are in predicting how your message will be interpreted.
  10. Our internal conflicts and psychological problems hamper our communication with others. To put it colloquially, the more hang ups you have, the more muddled is your communication.

Communication skills in the family and at work

These are some good suggestions for you to follow to sharpen your communication skills in your persoanl and work life.

Be clear about what you want to say. Think it through before you approach an individual about what you want to say. If necessary, write it down first and rehearse it.

Stay on track and don’t get distracted.

Don’t assume that the person knows how you think and feel. The person cannot read your mind. Assumptions often lead to misunderstanding.

Do not attack the person and injure the person’s self-esteem. If you do so, the person is likely to retaliate and both of you will end up in an argument.

Allow the person the right of reply because it may help to clarify matters.mAllow the person the opportunity to express emotions. Remember that feelings are neither right nor wrong. Focus on the communication process to show that you are genuine and interested.

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