We may very well know that the major contributing factor for peaceful & healthy relationships rest on the power of ‘effective communication’, whether it is personal relations, professional interactions or relations between tribes and nations. But the dilemma of life is – ‘Knowing is one thing and practicing is another’… Why we don’t practice the tools of effective communication, there may be many reasons…
In the first place, it is important to know that there are different kinds of personalities in this world as per the several defined models in psychology. The Right brained & Left brained’, the ‘Introvert & Extrovert’, and the famous & widely used the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – 16 personalities types.
These psychological personality types reveal that there is some basic fixed code we are born with. Most of the time, we have very limited freedom to play and modify the original code. So according to MBTI model, most of our practical life will be based on what we are born with.
Moreover, we are also product of many more things – The human code we are born with, the parents we are born with – the geographic place / the country, the schooling & education, the home environment, the parents’ role in upbringing and the society we live in and many more…
We may be talking about more than 10 factors which eventually shape us what we are. So we can well understand why we act the way we do – sometimes shy & reserved, sometimes outspoken & bold, sometimes logical & methodical & sometimes vague and intuitive…
The understanding of these psychological personality types actually also helps to understand ourselves better – whether by nature we are good communicators or we need to learn the ropes more to overcome our weaknesses.
However, the fact remains, that most of the misgivings & misunderstandings resulting in bitter relationships like divorces, fights, murders, battles and even wars, happen to spring out of extreme lack of proper communication, opposing ideologies, hatred, hostility & enmity.
In order to achieve a healthy & peaceful relationships, we should endeavor to know little bit about the science & art of communication. It is commonly understood that Communication is 55% body language, 38% tone and 7% words.
Furthermore, to improve the level of communication in our practical lives, as an individual, we have to understand the following four major tools of effective communication:
We start our lives (when we are infants) with hearing or listening, then we start talking or speaking, then at the third stage in schools, we start reading and finally at the fourth stage we learn the skills of writing.
It requires that you should be patient first to remain quiet and let the other person say out with all the emotions – and not to be interrupted in between. Moreover, active listening requires an attentive listening attitude by actually nodding and leaning forward. These gestures will provide the non verbal cues that the speaker is being properly listened to.
The language should be clear while speaking which the recipients should understand, it should be delivered in a balanced pace, and the accentuation in the voice should reflect emotion and concern. Attention to all such elements will help to create an impact while you speak.
Reading should be for the purpose of understanding the ‘meaning’ and getting involved and having an absorbing experience. Mere skimming the surface or cramming may not serve the purpose; it is short-lived and will evaporate soon from the mind.
As it says – whatever you do, ‘do it from your heart’ – well it aptly applies on the skill of writing. This skill is very much in the domain of an ‘art’ that is also one of the reasons that we have very few ‘good writers’.
Although, the awareness & mastery in these four tools of communication are important for proper & effective communication, however, most of the time, in our daily lives, we are using only two – Listening & Speaking. Even then, if we start to improve these two skills, we can improve our lives & relationships with better results.
We should try to keep on improving in these skills simply because it really benefits us; whether we go for a job interview, for any office presentation, any professional interaction, any business dealing, any personal conversations between friends & relatives or even handling difficult people or situations.
With conscious awareness & mastery of these communication tools, you will gradually experience that you will start gaining an edge, with new found realization that there actually exists a lot of power in ‘effective communication’.
By Zeerik Ahmad