The Importance of Communication
Author: Tom Shaw
Compared to all other living creatures, humans have incredibly advanced methods of communication. It is the main way in which we convey information and get certain points or ideas across to another person. The way we communicate can also vary depending on who we might be talking to. For example, think about how differently the same person might address a child versus the president of a company. Communication is powerful enough to sway opinions, cultivate relationships, and form impressions. Read on to learn more about different types of communication in various scenarios.
Types of Communication
There are two main types of communication: verbal and non-verbal. Verbal communication involves speaking, as well as other sounds such as laughing or crying. When it comes to verbal communication, listeners do not only take into account the words that are being spoken, but also the tone, volume, and accent. Non-verbal communication consists of body language and facial expression. These components begin when people are still babies and cannot yet speak. We all pick up certain aspects of other people's body language unconsciously. It is precisely this instinct at work when we have a hunch that someone might be a threat to us, that they may be insincere, or that they may be attracted to us. Non-verbal language can be controlled to a certain point, such as resisting the urge to fidget or cross your arms. However, some aspects like sweating or pupil dilation are quite uncontrollable.
Communication in Relationships
Many experts say that a healthy relationship is founded on strong communication skills and with good reason too. When people form close bonds, they often reach a stage where they need to discuss a sensitive subject with the other person. Instead of shying away from it or allowing the antagonism to build up to unhealthy levels, it is often better to calmly but honestly discuss it in an open manner. By doing this, people can address the issue early and work to resolve it quickly with minimal damage to the relationship. Compromise is also equally important since it introduces a sense of give and take among both people.
Communication in Business
Business communication is usually quite different from communication in personal relationships. At work, people usually strive to maintain a professional appearance. Unfortunately this often ends up in miscommunication, especially since a lot of business communication is done by email or over the phone. As with personal relationships, perhaps the best approach is to simply be tactful yet open. When issues arise, discuss them with the right person in an appropriate manner. Another major aspect of business has to do with cultural differences. Since so many businesses employ or work with people from other countries, it can be quite tricky at times. Brush up on cultural etiquette beforehand to avoid mistakenly saying something that could offend the other person.
Personal Communication Skills
- Communications in a Family – Family communications require a lot of adaptability according to each person's temperament and personality.
- Communication Skills for Couples – Learn how couples communicate and which strategies work best.
- Coping with Issues in Relationships – Open, honest communication can help a great deal in any relationship.
- Communicating With Your Partner – Try out some subtle exercises and phrases to improve the way you communicate with your significant other.
- Developing Understanding – Strong communication between two people helps to improve their understanding and respect of each other.
Business Communication Skills
- Communicating in Writing – Learn how to improve business communications in letters, memos, and more.
- Telephone Calls – Handle telephone calls effectively by adopting a leadership role in the conversation.
- Improving Communication at Work (PDF) – Find out how to communicate with superiors and subordinates alike.
- Listen to Others – By listening when people talk, we can get to the root of issues at work.
- Dealing with Conflict – Learn how to frame issues in different ways to communicate better and get the best results.
General Interpersonal Skills
- Listening Versus Speaking – Effective communications depend largely upon knowing when to listen or when to speak.
- Evaluate Your Communication Skills – Try a quiz to find out how well you communicate with others.
- Basic Communication – Read about the main principles for effective communication and explore the related resources.
- Emotions and Communication – It is important not to let emotions drown out the main message.
- Improving Listening Skills – Encourage better communications by listening to others.