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Effective communication — The key components, methods and significance

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Effective communication is undeniably a basic criterion for sustaining cordial relations with friends and family as well as achieving growth and success in one's chosen career. Efficient communication becomes all the more important in the contemporary world which is driven by information. This resource enlists some basic methods and the key elements of Effective Communication. Finally, it illustrates the importance of the same through some examples taken from the society.

Of all the creatures on Earth, the human beings are bequeathed with the most advanced methods of Communication. They can express themselves by the power of language, by speaking out, by writing down and even by mannerisms and gestures. The advanced methods of communication have heightened the capabilities of the modern man to communicate effectively, all the more. The power of communication has gifted people living in different parts of the world with knowledge on a plethora of subjects, topics and fields. Furthermore, it continues to play a noteworthy role in strengthening the bonds between family members, friends, associates and people in general. The bounty of information and healthier relationships shared across the globe are direct consequences of effective communication.

The key components of Effective Communication

The process of communication essentially involves conveying or passing on a message from one person to another or from one place to another. The key to an effective communication lies in following some simple conventions and focusing on its various components.

1. The Origin - speaker or the sender: As a rule, the most important facet of effective communication is its starting point i.e. the sender. The sender might be an individual or a group of people or even an organization. The dispatcher (incase of non-verbal communication) or the speaker (incase of verbal communications), should always remember to keep the communication clear, unambiguous and expressive. In addition to that, considering the receiver's culture and sensibilities will enhance the impact of the communication. The sender should not alter it pointlessly or to fulfil any malicious interests.

2. Use of appropriate language: The authentic content of the message renders it an ingenuous character and that makes the receiver connect with it instantly. The communication should include all the relevant information. It should be crafted in a manner that aids proper comprehension and understanding by the receiver or listener. This is valid for both verbal and written communication. Proper usage of grammar and punctuation marks is vital when the communication is in the written or non-verbal form. It should be designed in such a way that engages the receiver's attention and create the desired impact.

3. Engaging the right medium: The current eon of extensive communication is brought about by radical changes in society. Easy availability of books, magazines and newspapers, along with hi-tech innovations such as the mobile phone, television, and Internet has unlocked new modes of communication. The channel chosen to put the message across also plays a significant role in effective communication. Usually, the vocal media of communication such as the telephone, voice messages, web conferences, etc. have an edge over the non-verbal modes like letters, text messages for understandable reasons. So, the latter should be used with greater care and precision.

4. Proper interpretation by Recipient: The recipient or the listener is the person on whom the success of the communication finally depends. He is the one who interprets its meaning through the contents and the format of the communication. The receiver may be required to take action accordingly or spread the news or merely send his feedback on the subject to the sender. The way he reacts to the message mainly depends upon his understanding and of course, the contents and set-up of the communication. Appropriate analysis of the message by the recipient will only make the whole process, a success.

5. Good Vocabulary: A refined and elegant vocabulary facilitates effective communication. One should attempt to develop the habit of learning new words along with their meanings and usage by building up own sentences. Engaging in conversations with friends and family or even in front of a mirror adds to the vocabulary. Reading good books is still one of the most revered methods of fine-tuning your communication skills.

6. Effective writing skills: Even if the communication contains all the relevant information, it will not be able to convey the message properly if the message lacks proper scripting. The way one uses the constituent words is also important. To do so, the individual has to format the communication in such a way that will highlight the major points and leave an effective and positive impression on the receivers' or the listeners' minds. This is especially important if the communication is a non-verbal one.

7. Respect for others' opinion: Honouring the listeners' or receivers' views and opinions also plays a major role in Effective Communication. Many a time, people, especially after a heated discussion, realize that they were either discussing about two exclusively dissimilar topics or two different aspects of the same topic and this situation is a classic example of misunderstanding. The key to avoid this, is again Effective communication. To do this, we need to keep our mind free from pre-conceived notions and think impartially. This makes the listener realize that you respect his point of view and in turn, he or she will take your words in the right spirit.

8. Patient Listening: One of the easiest ways to steer clear of communication-hitches is to listen carefully. By paying attention to the other individual's perspective, an individual can make the communication additionally effective. The process of listening is a dynamic one. It needs a lot of patience and practice to adopt this virtue. In fact, many conflicts resolve when people devote time to listen to each other, properly. Patient listening serves as an effective tool to resolve the communication gaps developed between two individuals or groups. Subduing one's false ego helps make a person a better listener. It also makes one open to fresh ideas and gives opportunity to analyze without being judgmental.

9. Keen observation: How many times people realize that something around them has changed with respect to its shape, place or characteristics? In most cases, they don't, especially if the alteration is minute. If one practices the skill of observation, by being alert, he or she will be able to come up with better explanations of the events happening around. That will make the individual well-informed that will add to one's communication skills.

10. Plugging the Communication Gaps: Communication gaps emerge due to ineffective communication or due to total lack of interaction between people. People may have different beliefs and thoughts and that may lead to contradictions. Healthy debates or arguments between people help bring out fresh ideas and better solutions for problems. As such, taking initiative for clearing out doubts and confusions is also a part of effective communication.

Effective Communication
Effective Communication - An illustration

Vocal Communication V/s Non-Vocal Communication

Verbal Communication and non-verbal communication are two different methods of communication and both are valuable for the modern man. Face to face conversations are the best examples of verbal communications. Two parties can speak up candidly in this kind of tête-à-tête and there are hardly any possibilities of any kind of misunderstandings, if the two parties consider each others' point of view in the right spirit instead of being biased. The intonations and expressions of the speaker (along with the content) do the major part of the job while conveying the message to the listener. The individuals don't have to be personally present to involve themselves in such a conversation. The modern innovations like web-cameras and real-time videos have made the task easier than ever before. So, people can actually participate in an effective communication even if they are physically miles apart. The non-vocal channels are also important because talking face to face to the person to whom, you want to communicate something is always not possible. One cannot expect the person to whom you want to convey something, to somehow appear in front of you. On these occasions, the non-verbal communication media like SMS, e-mails, letters etc ensure that you are able to effectively communicate to the individuals, who are physically apart from you. They should be used with adroitly because the words with proper punctuation form the backbone of effective communication.

The Importance of Effective Communication

The art of effective communication plays a positive role in many fields and arenas of the modern society. The significance of efficient communication can be easily gauged by taking up some important examples from the society. Effective communication helps to avoid misunderstandings, discords, failures and other violent situations. It is said that words can either make or mar a situation. It won't be an exaggeration to say that erroneous communication and in many cases, a complete lack of communication has emerged as a major foe of human society. Hence, the importance of effective communication cannot be denied. Let us comprehend the significance of effective communication in today's world by taking up three important aspects of society.

Effective communication - a tool to enhance productivity

If one watches the corporate world closely, one would observe that numerous meetings are organized there on a regular basis for the purpose of communicating and discussing the important issues related to the enterprise. The motive can be anything from the launch of a new product or service, marketing of an old product or just about augmenting the prospects of the firm in question. Some of those meetings do not succeed on the grounds of ineffective communication and lead to misuse of time and decline in overall output. On the other hand, the well structured meetings, which are endowed with the components of effective communication, add to a firm's growth prospects and productivity levels because the employees are able to better decipher the plan of action conveyed to them, thus helping them to contribute in a superior manner.

Effective Communication: the foundation of successful relationships

The success of any relationship decidedly depends upon proper understanding, patience, acceptance and faith. These can be developed and cultivated only by Effective communication between the two individuals. It can be the relationship between parents and children; husband and wife; or even friends. Usually, lack of proper communication gives rise to a sense of disapproval, which in turn distances them. But, if they patiently listen to each other and put their point across in a sensible fashion, they can not only resolve all their differences but also prevent misunderstandings, in the first place. Further, it elevates the level of trust and that is fundamental to cement their bonds. Frequent and quality conversations strengthen their relationship emotionally as well as socially. In the core of a flourishing relationship, is the power of effective communication.

Effective communication skills promote job prospects

Do you have Effective communication skills as a part of your resume? You certainly have better prospects to get that interview call from your dream company. Nowadays, firms are increasingly hiring those candidates who are job-ready and effective communication skills prepare an individual for that, too. With all the other concepts in place, a polished vocabulary enables the candidate to comprehend and respond to the interview board, confidently and convincingly. This skill facilitates growth in the career path of an individual even after securing his dream job. By better exposition and execution of ideas and proposals, the individual plays his role in the firm efficiently and contributes productively for the welfare of the society, as well.

Effective Communication- A valuable skill

Today, the role of efficient communication is noteworthy in almost all the spheres of society. From maintaining pleasant relationships with friends and family to achieving escalation in your profession; everything needs effective communication. The key elements of effective communication are ingenuity of the sender, appropriate content, employing the right medium and right interpretation by the receiver or the listener. Like any other skill, it takes patience and practise on the part of the individual to master it. To achieve proficiency in this art, one needs to cultivate some virtues like good listening skills, respect for others' opinion and alertness to name a few. Refinement of vocabulary by regular study and reflection and self-motivation facilitate better communication, too. By regular practise and devotion, any one can refine the art of effective communication.
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