While how we communicate as humans is a complex topic, communication can be defined as the act of transferring information from one place to another or passing information from one person to another. There are various forms by which we humans communicate, but as a matter of simplicity, we pass information to each other in four forms. Verbal or spoken form takes place either face to face or through a medium like your mobile phone or radio. Non-verbal form of communication usually speaks about how we use gestures and body language, or even our body scent (or odour). Written communication takes the form of SMS, Whatsapp, emails and newspaper, while the last form of communication is visualization of representation, like charts, graphs or logos of corporations/entities.
Why is communication skill important?
According to Nitin Nohria, a Professor from Harvard Business School, “Great leaders spend the bulk of their time communicating.” There are plenty of reasons why communication skills are so important. Dustin Moskovitz, a Harvard Alumni and also the Co-Founder of Facebook with a net worth of estimated $7.9 billion, said that “leader or would-be leader” need to learn “how to be more intentional, both in their decisions and their communication” so that they are better equipped to lead. Below is the summary of why communication skill is so important.
Maintain and Build Relationships. Positive encounters with others are what relationships are built on, and communication is key to this process. Without being effective in communication, people could be misunderstood, and this does not foster better and productive relationships.
Creates a more effective team/group. Effective communication would result in a more cohesive group, and that’s especially important as it tends to boost the morale of everyone if communication is more open. People will be informed of each other’s intervention, employees would be notified of the organization’s direction, mission, and vision. Even regular internal communication, whether it is in your family or workplace, would provide greater security to people as everyone would be reminded of their achievement and be consistently focused working on a common goal.
A Green house for innovation. Open communication and effective communication means that ideas would be shared as everyone would be comfortable with each other. Imagine if a family member or a classmate is unable to convey their thoughts because they lack the necessary communication skills; the brightest invention would never be told or implemented as it’s hard to understand what it takes to realize its fullest potential.
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Provides transparency. To build trust and relationship with others, communication is vital. Imagine the last time you met someone who keeps things to himself or herself, the last scandal that hit a company when it faced with allegations of using unethical methods in its business process. That’s why good communication is necessary to provide transparency, as even if something went wrong, those who have always communicate with transparency would have a much easier time to explain what happened than someone who did not.
Tips to acquire good and effective communication skill
Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, said that he is a great believer that “any tool that enhances communication has profound effects regarding how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they are interested in.” While communication is one of the most important life skills we should learn, many of us do not put a lot of effort into learning it. The following are some simple tips to have better communication in your personal or social life; whether it is to get your idea across at school and work or simply to convince your mom that its important for you to go out to the party tonight.
Body Language. Imagine if you are trying to tell your boss that you are totally open for discussion, or your mom that you are ready to talk, just with your arms crossed. These non-verbal cues often reveal much more about what you might be thinking than what you say. Or take an example where you refuse to look at the eye of the person you are speaking to, keep looking away during a video conference or interview. One positive way to communicate non-verbally might be to adopt a power pose if there is a need to boost your confidence for a big interview or seminar. Dr. Amy Cuddy, who is a researcher at Harvard University, classified different body positions as “high power” or “low power” poses. In general, her studies on body language and the impact shows that high power poses are open and relaxed while the low power poses are closed and guarded. This might aid to enhance your body language.
Remove Unnecessary Conversation Fillers. “Er… Ah…. Ya….dz in your everyday conversations make you seem less confident and less persuasive. In Harvard Extension School, Professor Steven D. Cohen suggests that powerful public speakers work hard to eliminate fillers such as “um,””uh,””well,””so,””you know,””er,” and “like” from their vocabulary so that their listeners can focus solely on their message. Through practice and persistence, you start to be more powerful in your speech after the fillers are eliminated. Try to relax and learn about pausing before you speak, or simply take your hands out of your pockets. Silences rather than fillers might seem more awkward to you, but trust me, they are not as bad as it sounds compared to the “um” and “er.”
Sharing a Story. We all love stories. Some of them are so inspiring; others are simply powerful. To be a phenomenal persuader or communicator, we need to activate the imagination part of our audience brains through stories. Kin, a senior lecturer who teaches the preparatory classes for aspiring candidates who want to be more effective in their communication at Leadership and Management Institute, says that the science behind storytelling is to inspire, invoke and provoke thoughts in others. Try asking questions, repeating the comment made by the last person you spoke to. Well, this also keeps people on their toes, especially if it means to help clarify certain points that improve the communication process.
So what will be your story behind your next effective communication? Let us know. We would want to hear you out and see if we can deliver some pointers to you to improve your communication skill. We are here to listen, with arms open of course. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share with us your thoughts.
Toasting to your success.Ever want to ask a Senior everything about his/her experience? Here's your chance to talk to a senior in person. On 19Jan at the highly-touted Future Academy, you will be brought around by a senior. Registration is free! Check it out now to ask questions and engage in discussion!