By Dr Shan Narayanan
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” -George Bernard Shaw.
How true…. many a time, we think we have made our views clear only to realise, it has not been understood! Have you experienced it? Why is it so?
How do we ensure our message is understood? This can be ensured through effective communication.
The term “effective communication” has two words,” effective” and “communication”.
Let us look at the term “communication” first,
“Communication” is passing information from one place, person or group to another. It involves a sender and a recipient.
“Effective” means successful in producing a desired or intended result.
Thus, Effective Communication, means passing information from one place, person or group and it is understood by the recipient as intended by the sender.
When the message has been understood, then the communication has been effective. This effective communication is the key to success in personal and professional relationships.
When we effectively communicate, both sender and recipient are satisfied. There will be no space for misunderstanding thus avoiding conflict.
Thus, how to effectively communicate?
In communicating, we, most of the time, focus on what we should say. To effectively communicate, we need to focus on the following areas:
- Active Listening
- Pay attention to non-verbal signals
- Manage your stress
- Assert yourself.
We have to focus fully on the person speaking to us. I have explained this in detail in my article on 1st September 2019.
Paying Attention to Non Verbal Signals:
Non-verbal Signals or body language includes facial expression, body movement, gestures, eye contact, posture and the tone of your voice. The ability to understand these signals/communication, come with focus and active listening.
Manage your stress
When we are stressed, we say things that we do not mean and regret later. Thus learning to manage our emotions is very important part of effectively communicating.
Staying calm under pressure enables one to focus, listen intently and thus communicate effectively.
Being assertive means expressing your thoughts, feelings and needs in an open and honest way while standing up for yourself and respecting others. Being honest about your thoughts and intention ensures a clear message is passed on to the other party.
Effective communication is always about understanding the other person, it is not about
winning an argument or forcing your opinion on others.
Effective Communication help you connect with others, handle challenging situations and build better relationships both at home and work.