Do you ever think about whether or not you are a good communicator? I’d be willing to be this is something most people tend to overlook. A lot of research and writing has been done about things like voice inflection, body language, how fast or slow one speaks and all sorts of other factors and how they affect how one’s message is received by the listening party or if the message is conveyed at all.
In order to assess if you are or are not a good communicator you must first assess your idea of what communication is and what factors affect it.
What is communication? Or rather what is “effective” communication?
To most, communication is simply making a point. There is little regard for how the message you’re sending is being interpreted. Even if you’ve checked your posture, leveled out your tone, and reduced your rate of speech to an intelligible speed, you’re message still may not be getting through, because you’ve left out one key element of communication…
You’ve forgotten to analyze the party which you’re speaking to. You don’t know what their beliefs are, what motivates them, what makes them tick. Much to the same point you don’t know what shuts them down or closes them off to what you’re saying and if you’re not careful one wrong statement or expression could put you in a position of “non-communication.” Now the person is busy counting the minutes, or seconds, or even syllables until you’re done yapping.
Effective communication takes place when one party conveys an idea and the other party understands, processes, and responds, hopefully favorably. A great example of bad communicators…Congress. A lot of these guys have the same, centrist, ideals but they jargon they use to present their plans shuts the other side down, there is a massive schism in their communication and messages conveyed more often than not land on deaf ears because people are more concerned with making a point rather than making progress.
There is a great song lyric from a band I love, Tool, which speaks to our issues as a culture when it comes to communication and how we need to have the ability to listen and entertain different opinions and ideals without becoming angry or cynical. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I believe life’s lessons can be learned from art and not from “self-helpers” but that’s a topic for another day J
heres the lyric: Tool- Schism
…Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any
Sense of compassion
Between supposed lovers
Between supposed brothers.