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Effective Communication

effective communication

There are a number of ways to convey a message to someone else, but effective communication is not as common as it should be.

Speaking directly: People often use euphemisms and metaphors when trying to say something, especially when trying to convey a message in respect of a sensitive issue. The problem with this is that not everybody understands the intricacies of literary imagery, and while this does not mean that something figurative will necessarily be taken in a literal context, it does mean that the figurative message may be ambiguously interpreted. For effective communication it is therefore advisable to speak directly instead, so as to make the meaning clear and avoid any chance for confusion.

Evaluation listening: It may seem easy to hear and listen to what someone says, but effective communication requires listening in conjunction with careful evaluation. This means taking time to ponder over a given statement so that the correct meaning is absorbed. The reason for this is that sometimes, even when someone speaks directly, the listener may “hear what he wants to hear”. This is comically portrayed in the advertisement where a man brings a certain famous brand of fried chicken to his colleague, a female, who responds by saying “Oh, I love you!” The man then responds to her by confessing his undying love for her, only to be reminded that she was merely expressing thanks for the food that he had brought her. Thus it is important for effective communication that one listens and evaluates what is heard, ensuring that you hear what is actually being said, instead of hearing what your desires would like to hear.

Combating fear: Sometimes you need to say something to someone, but choose not to because you fear the consequences of communicating it. People often face this problem in the workplace - they have a problem with something but are afraid to communicate it because of the potential repercussions such as losing their job or having to deal with an upset colleague afterwards. It is imperative, in this regard, to realize that anything can be communicated if it is done in a respectful manner. This means that while speaking directly, you do not speak in an offensive or otherwise discourteous manner. Following this approach, there is virtually no situation in which you need be fearful of expressing your feelings on a particular matter.

The disruptive temper: Anger is a human emotion that conveys an intimate message about a person’s state of mind. Thus, the expression of anger is important for effective communication; it shows that an individual does not morally or emotionally agree with a certain situation, and this allows his fellow individual to understand him and his disposition. Expressing anger, or any other emotion for that matter, can be disruptive to effective communication, and often is in many cases, due to ignorance in terms of the manner in which it should be expressed. It all comes back to respect, and maintaining a high degree of mutual understanding between all parties involved. It is best to hold one’s tongue when in the height of anger. This allows a bit of time to evaluate the anger-inducing situation, and to come back to a level-minded disposition so that the anger may be effectively and constructively communicated.

Effective communication depends on respect, mutual understanding and clarity, whether in a personal or corporate environment.


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