Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Effective Communication | Importance, Types and Skills

Communicating effectively can be be your greatest strength. Learn the importance and list of essential skills to make your communication effective.


Effective Communication | Importance, Types and Skills



Effective Communication | Importance, Types and Skills

Each one of you wants to communicate messages or even your thoughts and feelings to others, but have you ever struggled to get your message across to the other individual? Yes you might have faced, I faced and many others have faced the same situation.

Not getting words to communicate the message, taking a long time to process out thoughts into words, or there is no clarity of what message you want  to convey, these are the common errors that you come across. 

So where does the problem lies? 

You and I live in an era where technology is taking one step ahead every day and making our surroundings digitalized, with this the communication system has also taken a new phase of communicating. Digital messaging systems are capable of making the message available to the receiver in a couple of seconds.

Living in this era it is necessary to convey the message effectively not only face to face but through these digital mediums too. 

There are several ways of communicating your messages/thoughts to the other individual, but mainly it is categorized as verbal and non-verbal( discussed later).

What Is Communication?

It can be defined as expressing thoughts/feelings or a message, it not only revolves around conveying a message but also understanding the emotions and intentions behind the message. 

Focusing on both verbal and non-verbal forms is important, not only words but gestures, actions, and written forms also play a major role.

Making your message effective needs some essential skills, which will improve your relationship with the speaker as it gives the listener a feeling of being heard and understood.

A message conveyed can have either a positive or negative impact depending upon the way it is being conveyed. 

Therefore it is important to know the skills for effective communication to avoid misunderstandings and disputes in both personal and professional life.

Reasons For Ineffective Communication

Ineffectiveness in conveying messages can lead to frustrations, conflicts, and misunderstandings in your life both at the workplace and at home. It's essential to know the barriers that lead to such ineffectiveness.
  • Language Factor - Finding it difficult to get your message/thoughts into words and convey it to the sender, the major factor is your fluency with the language. If you are not familiar/fluent with the language, getting your message into words becomes a difficult task and leads to ineffective transfer of the message.
  • Negative Gestures - Gestures are a form of non-verbal communication, but negative gestures like doing something else while someone is speaking, not maintaining eye contact, or even tapping your feet will offend the other person. It gives an impression of another person being insulted and hence ineffective communication takes place.
  • Focus  - In this case, ineffectiveness takes place when you focus on multiple tasks. Speaking something and thinking something will eventually mix up the entire message  or writing a mail while speaking to a person will also lead to the same situation and no proper communication takes place. For effective conveying of messages avoid distractions and focus on a single task at a time.

Is Good Communication Skills Important?

Yes, it is important,

Having good communication skills is the greatest asset you can ever have and it is one of the major skill requirements by today's industries. 

No one is born having a good skill, it's neither genetically gifted nor developed overnight. Communicating effectively takes a  long way to be mastered, but not impossible if determined.

It plays a major role from our personal life to professional life and able to deliver the message effectively will build both healthy professional and personal relations.

Importance of Good Communication skills in Personal Life
  • Gives a feeling of being heard and understood by others
  • Reduces conflict
  • A better understanding of the situation
  • Ability to compromise/adjust
Importance of Good Communication skills in Professional Life
  • Better relations with subordinates and superiors
  • Reduced conflicts among teams, groups or departments
  • Reduced work stress
  • Effective and efficient productivity
  • Building trust
  • More reliability
  • Focusing in the right direction
  • Good career opportunities

What are the types of Communication?

Effective Communication | Importance, Types and Skills

It does not revolve around just speaking or let's say just verbal form, there are several ways in which you can communicate. 

It is mainly categorized into verbal and non-verbal. Let's get ahead knowing what is verbal and non-verbal communication

Verbal Communication 
In simple words it is a form of conveying messages that involve words, it is basically face to face interaction, but with the advancement of technology, it can take place through telephonic based, internet-based, etc.

Many of us make the mistake thinking that verbal communication only involves words or oral interaction, but verbal is further classified into an Oral and Written forms of conveying messages.

Written Communication
It is the ability to write clearly and effectively, the inability to write effectively or having poor written skills will be frustrating for the reader. 

Therefore good written skills are essential for effective interaction. Examples of written form of message include E-mails, letters, books, resume etc.

Non-Verbal Communication 
Interaction taking place through visual cues, no words are involved. It is noticed and interpreted more than words. 
Examples of the non-verbal forms of message include gestures, body language, facial expressions, actions, tone of voice etc.

Skills for Effective/Good Communication

Language 
Communicating in a language that you are fluent and familiar will lead to effective communication, you won't find words to convey the message if you communicate in an unfamiliar language and even if you convey the message it may be taken in a different sense by the listener or have a negative impression about the message as well as you.

To have effective interaction, always communicate in a familiar and fluent language

Confidence  
Both overconfidence and underconfidence harm the conversation, but the right amount of confidence leads to perfect conversation. 

Showing confidence will give a positive impact to the listener about you, will have trust in your abilities, and value the effectiveness of your message. Maintaining eye contact, using a firm but friendly tone, and having a smile while conversation will lead to effective communication.

On the other hand, overconfidence and underconfidence give the other person a feeling of being left out of the conversation. An overconfident person speaks too much whereas underconfident person hardly speaks which leads to ineffective communication.

Be Respectful
Being respectful in a conversation is important, whether you are a team leader or a subordinate. Let's take a scenario, considering that you are a leading a team and ask for ideas and opinions over a project from your team members. 

Listening to the ideas and opinions of a single member and ignoring others will result in a lack of respect and unsuccessful communication.

Everyone has their own ideas and opinions, listening diligently, appreciating them, and giving feedback to their ideas will have a positive impact.

Clarity 
Be clear about what you want to convey, what is the purpose of information, and what information you want to receive. Successful communication is not only about giving the message, but it's all about giving the right and desired information, receiving the right and desired information, and knowing the purpose of information.

The absence of clear and concise messages leads to unsuccessful communication, misunderstandings, and disputes.

Listener 
Giving opinions or feedback without even listening is unethical and ineffective. Successful communication is a two-way process involving both listening and speaking. 
Patiently observe and listen to what other person is speaking, clarify doubts, ask questions, alternatives, and solutions. Two way conversation always leads to effective interaction so focus on being a good listener.

Focus
Single-tasking is always better than multitasking because when you focus on one thing at a time the result tends to be effective, the same formula goes for fruitful communication.

The major drawback of multitasking is that the focus is diverted among different tasks and eventually ends up causing disputes, bad relations, and frustration 

Keep your focus on what other people are speaking instead of indulging in other activities for effective communication.

Gestures
Not only verbal but non-verbal form of conveying messages is equally important, focusing on your and other's gestures can give you an insight into whether the interaction is being effective or not.

Negative gestures like no eye contact, tapping feet while taking, crossed arms, looking at watch or clock indicates anxiousness or patience, poor posture, or staring at others are signs of ineffective interaction.

Tone/Pitch Of Voice 
The tone in which a person speaks can change the entire meaning of the message. A simple message can be taken in a negative sense if the tone is harsh or pitch is high, it sounds aggressive and the respondent may also respond in the same manner.

Keep the tone smooth and friendly and pitch should neither be high or low, rather keep it medium for effective and smooth communication.

CONCLUSION

Making your communication skills effective is not an overnight process and takes time to nurture it but it's not impossible. Focus on the skills daily, it not only develops and improves your conversation skill but it develops you also

Everyone faces difficulty in making their communication effective and successful at some point of time. It's not a formula that you can drink and start communicating effectively the next day. It's a set of skills, that you need to work on to make your conversation more effective, successful, and fruitful.

As the saying goes - 
       Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.



What was your experience with Communication? Did you face any awkward conversation? Let me know about your experiences!





Leon George

Author & Editor

Leon George is the founder of The FinerVersion, a Content Writer and a Blogger.

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