Effective communication — The key components, methods and significance

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.

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