Why Effective Communication Is More Than Just Talking

Effective Communication

There is one thing that is consistent, and that is that humans have been evolving and adapting to the environment and community that they’re living in. To gain a respected position in the society that we decide to solidify our roots in, we need to have effective communication skills. Once other people in the community realize that we are amicable and adjustable to the norms, and we communicate well, chances of acceptance and striking personal connections are high. The same principle is true in any other group setting, be it in offices or classrooms.

If we have a good way of approaching things, including communicating both verbally and with acceptable body language, it’s likely that we would be able to share our point of view and opinions with ease. It’s also more likely that we’re understood by others and our points are deemed valid. In an office setting, it is essential to have top-notch communication skills to make an impact on the team. Here, let’s discuss the basics of this ever-important topic – communication skills.

Effective communication is more than just talking, and it’s more than putting across ideas to the other person. To be able to communicate effectively, it involves being able to make the listener understand the information correctly. We should be able to help them appreciate what we have in our minds. It also has a nonverbal dynamic, where our body language needs to align with our tone and the information that we’re trying to convey. Most importantly, we should also allow the listener to share doubts and clarify anything that’s missing. For that, we should not only be talking, we should also be listening to the other person, observing their body language, and ensuring that they’re grasping things correctly.

With the increasing use of virtual meetings and zoom sessions, where we’re not actually meeting in person, we must tune our communication accordingly by making it more interactive and encouraging didactic dialogue. This is definitely harder and tiring, but there are a few ways that we can use to combat ‘zoom fatigue’.

What are the difficulties of effective communication?

We are likely to encounter certain obstacles that make the path harder in becoming effective communicators. Let’s take a look at a few difficulties.

  • We may not be able to understand the smallest intricacies of the spoken language of a particular place, especially colloquial terms. We need to have a fair idea of which words are offensive, which words are agreeable, and the exact meaning of a word according to the local dialect.
  • Non-verbal skills play an important role as well. Non-verbal skills include body language, gestures, and facial expressions. We need to manage our emotions and gestures as appropriate to the context that we’re having the discussion on. In some instances, we may have the tendency to portray wrong non-verbal cues which has a very high chance of being misinterpreted by the listener.
  • Not giving the other person ample time and space to discuss their point of view. We should ensure that we keep checking the listener’s understanding of our topics and give them the opportunity to reflect and clarify any doubts. This will not only fulfill the purpose of discussion but also allow us to know where we’re lacking and improve on that while talking to other people in the future.

Points to consider

While there’s a lot to discuss about communicating effectively, these are a few basics.

  • Be clear, concise, and calm – if we are dealing with a large amount of information and need to communicate it with a large audience, like in meetings in the office, it’s good practice to break down this information into smaller chunks. Try to absorb the core of the material and put it across to the audience in a clear and concise manner. This helps to keep the attention of the audience in check. That’s why during presentations, pictorial representations have a better chance of being understood.
  • Be an emotionally balanced communicator – apart from having great language and oratory skills, it’s essential that we add an emotional quotient to the material that we’re trying to convey to the listener. Putting an emotional aspect into the equation kindles the interest of the listeners and also aids in better connection to the speaker and the information. Employers can arrange sessions for employees for developing communication skills apart from other activities to build a positive company culture.