Before we define communication, imagine life without communication skills? There’s no life without it, it’s just loneliness. You’re alone despite everyone’s presence around you.
No communication means no words, no gestures, no feelings, no love, and no affection. And you’re hence an individual, literally an individual in the middle of nowhere not knowing what to do.
You don’t have a shoulder to cry on, no friend to laugh with, no family and community to be part of. Without communication skills man would be just a lump of flesh, pumping blood and digesting food, that too without knowing why.
Glad that you can communicate, I’m communicating with you right now as you are reading this. You even communicate with animals don’t you, don’t take me wrong don’t you scare a crow and hush a cat? Or even call and adore a cute rabbit.
Don’t the animals respond to you? Why does a dog run when you don’t want it around? Because it gets the message, as you were communicating with it. Your gesture does the communication part. And we didn’t speak of animals communicating among themselves, so do plants as we know now.
Our body communicates with us, hungry, tired or sleepy, how do you know. The body even communicates within, why do your hands sweat when you’re scared? Why did your mouth water when your eyes see pickles? Even cells communicate.
Now they all have communication skills, which may vary though as to how skillful they are. Let’s target a day that they are as skillful add they require to be. There’s no need for an organ to speak with you, hence it has no communication skill to speak. Well that was one weird example, wasn’t it? I thought it would help us define communication.
What is communication? One might ask. Let me put it this way, a live example. I thought of it, and I wrote it down, you are reading it and thinking it out or say interpreting it.
This is between me and you, what exactly is happening? I wanted to communicate with you
How do I deliver this message to you? I encode the message. Yes, we’re not playing spies here, but let me break it to you, these letters and words are codes. Not the secret codes we hear of in stories but these are the codes used which help us convey our thoughts in a deliverable format.
There are various types of communication.
Formats of messages to be communicated:
There are no letters or pictures trapped in a hard disk but yet they are there, the format is different. You can’t read my thoughts but you can read my article.
That’s how we define communication, the process of transfer of information or message from one being to another. And nowadays it not necessarily is a being, it could even be a thing.
We’re in the 21st century and Google must’ve read this before you. That’s how we must define communication now, as it’s not just interpersonal communication but it also is, what? Intermachine communication maybe?
Parts of communication
Getting back to our previous example where trying to define communication we tried to understand the interpersonal communication between me and you by this article which you’re reading right now.
How many sections do we have in this? I and you, the participants of this, what’s between us is the message. Hence we have I, you, and the message which is encoded by me and decoded by you for effective communication. Parts of communication, therefore, will be,
The coding differs as the sender’s, receptors, and the message varies. As I and you are the same hence the sender and receptor being the same will have different coding and decoding if we were facing each other.
I mean I wouldn’t be writing all this to communicate with you, and I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate that either. We’d have communicated the same message speaking out. Code would again change if I would meet someone who doesn’t understand my words or language.
There’s variety in communication skills and we’re to adopt the best for effective communication.
Categories of communication:
Your friend is throwing a party somewhere nowhere, a never heard of the place. And you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere knowing not where to go. Then you call your friend to guide you which he tries but you fail to teach because it’s complex.
Hence this vocal communication skill seems not to be very effective. But your friend seems to be smart enough to message you a map with a clear pin on the exact position where to reach. And that’s all that you wanted.
Visual communication seems to work just as expected. Maps, infographics, and chats are a few examples of visual communication.
What if you were to express your love and affection to a loved one using a graph? Well, you may try to show a huge bar but would it be as effective as saying it out?
I mean, the image, can you inculcate your emotions in a picture? No, you’re not thinking about emojis, are you? Here you go “:-)” but know what? I’m not smiling.
Tell me now, did I communicate my emotion? I faked it. It’s not always a communication skill or not always a genuine one at least. Verbal communication is when you talk.
Most commonly used communication skill and perhaps the one which assures effective communication. Wonder why company executives it to speak than to message? I hate it though.
You want your communication skill mastery, master this art. Imagine a man entering the room with a wide genuine smile, the biggest smile you’ve ever seen, and announcing a piece of very bad news and saying that he’s very sad.
Will you trust him? Or may it be the converse of it, saddest face you’ve ever seen said that he’s very happy, think he’ll light up your mood?
Thing is, we trust more in what we see than what we hear. Your actions speak louder than your words when you communicate.
As it sounds exactly. I’m glad that you let me communicate with you. And thanks to this category of communication, I am able to. A huge level of communication has been and still is going through this mode.
Manuscripts, right from the rocks to skins, wooden chunks, and then the papers. Letters, newspapers, magazines, books, and articles. You name it.
A good communication assures better reputation as your efficiency to deliver the message, needs, instructions, emotions, and support are directly proportional to your capability to communicate effectively. And this efficiency is your communication skill.
Importance of communication:
Want to get anything done? You start with communication. You need communication skills to deliver your ideas, your dreams, and aspirations. The next thing after a plan is to communicate, and effective communication is where everything starts.
Do you want your product on the market? You communicate it, you promote it. The best promotion is the one that is best communicated. And if it doesn’t get communicated effectively then you don’t see results, this is the importance of communication.
Moreover, if it’s not effectively communicated then you might even see consequences, which again emphasizes the importance of communication.
Why is communication a skill?
The above-discussed reason is what makes communication skills, an art as some might say. If you don’t do it right you might have a loss, predominantly.
And that is why it’s very important to get feedback, you should know that your message is delivered it’s communicated exactly as you wanted it to be.
Without feedback, you may be in an illusion and a high expectation to get the purpose you’ve communicated done. But you see no outcome because it was never communicated the way you wanted it to be. And that’s because you didn’t take the feedback.
How else would you know, both the sender and the recipient think that the message is delivered, whereas it’s not, hence we’d call it miscommunicated. That’s how important communication skill is. We can’t live without it, and we all are communicating every moment.
How’s your communication skill:
Tell me is this how you spend your day?
- Do you normally get a positive response when you speak?
- How easily can you convince people to do something good?
- Do you get angry easily?
- Do people want to speak with you again, after they’ve already done?
- Are you approachable?
- How do you get along in a social gathering or meet?
And such questions I suggest you ask yourself, and we’ll be discussing this someday in a future article. Remember you are communicating every moment, even with your mouth shut. And you can improve your communication skills. How you communicate reflects your personality.