Throughout the ages, the process of communication has been the key to human survival as well as social development. By the process of communication, we mean the process that involves creating and sharing ideas, information, opinions, findings, emotional expressions and so on. The aim of good communication is to make people reach a common understanding.
In modern world, communication skills are critical for growth of a person in personal, societal as well as professional domains. There are two key specific benefits that a person can derive from good communication abilities. These include:
Greater coordination – Through communication an organization’s employees can be brought on the same page in terms of the goals, and what is expected from them. By knowing their exact roles and responsibilities, they are able to coordinate seamlessly and speedily.
Better decision making – Through seamless, efficient, clear and timely communication, business decision makers can take well informed decisions that are aligned to the organization’s goals.
Now that we have got an idea of how important the process of communication is for everyone to succeed, it is time to take a look at the various types of communication:
Verbal Communication – Verbal or spoken communication is the process wherein we talk to people. There are various channels of verbal communication such as face-to-face, telephonic, Skype or Zoom. The verbal communication process varies from informal conversations with friends, office-cooler gossip and the boardroom meetings. The key to acing verbal communication is not just the words used, but the pitch, tone and the calibre of the communication.
Non-verbal communication – The actions and gestures that accompany our spoken words are often more powerful inn conveying a message than the actual words. Factors such as facial expressions, gestures, body language, eye-contact etc are all crucial components of non-verbal communication.
According to the Mehrabian model of communication (named after Professor Mehrabian), there are three core components of the non-verbal communication and these include facial expressions, tone of voice, and the literal meaning of the words said. According to Professor Mehrabian, these three things convey our preferences and opinion of others.
Written Communication – Written communication has become all pervasive nowadays with remote working and tools such as email, memo, report, social media posts, tweets, presentations and infographics are all types of written communication. The written communication irrespective of the channel should always focus on effective, engaging, easy-to-understand delivery of the message to the audience. Well-written, structured sentences and error-free communication enables the audience to receive the message well.
Listening – Conventionally listening skills fail to gain a place in core communication skills, but, the ability of a person to listen well can actually be the biggest influence on the success or failure of the process of communication.
Visual communication – Visual communication is everywhere. Social media posts, 24/7 TV channels, YouTube and so many other video sharing platforms ensure that we are always surrounded by a diversity of visual communication and content. Nowadays, we regularly see images such as people celebrating birthday and other occasions, traveling to exotic locations, displaying their professional achievements and so on. These forms of engaging video and captivating still images have become integral to our lives now.
Communication is a constant and critical process that goes on day and night. A lot of communication happens to be spontaneous and even without any conscious thought or strategy as humans are communicators by nature. However, to use the power wielded by the process of communication, we need to consciously evaluate the types of communication and learn how to make best impact with each type. By cultivating abilities such as writing concise, clear and well-articulated messages, speaking in the right tone and using right visual inputs to enhance our communication are some of the things that all of us need to focus on.
By evaluating your quality of communication, and taking steps to improve your skills, you can better succeed in life!