A Brief Article On The Basics Of Communication
By Stephanie Prince Ling MFT
Communication - one of the most vital concepts needed for human interaction. Whether you talk; write; text; online chat; or utilize social media, reaching out to someone for the purpose of exchanging ideas; professing a feeling or expressing thoughts, is a daily task that we all engage in. Within the Entertainment Industry, the standard of communication is key as so many creative ideas are thought of and shared daily.
Along with that, having good communication is essential with regards to functioning within a team dynamic; working with difficult people; managing conflict and so on. So the question is, are YOU a good communicator? Do you spend time forming your thoughts/ideas/feelings before articulating them? Do you share emotional reactions electronically? Do you ever send a request or directive and receive an answer back that is questionable or perhaps out of character for the person intended?
This happens more often than not. It can cause stress among those trying to get something accomplished. Communication is the root of all types of relationships including but not limited to; interpersonal; family; peers and work relationships. We rely on healthy and effective communication to accomplish tasks and more importantly, to relate to one another. People who tend to have poor communication skills most likely did not have good role models to teach them.
In addition to that, we are forced now to communicate in ways (text messaging; social media, etc.) that we did not have generations ago. So in essence, although communication should be considered “easier” we have drifted away from human contact. Poor communication has been a causative factor for divorces; people getting terminated and other detrimental actions that result in a negative outcome.
Take a moment now to reflect upon your own ability to communicate well with others. Think about this is terms of your personal and professional life. Could that email have been written a little clearer? Could that text message been sent out of context? Now rate yourself on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the BEST communicator you can be. Is there room for improvement? Most likely the answer is yes.
We can ALWAYS improve and hone our communication skills. I believe (as with many other things) it’s a constant work in progress. So here are some ways that you can improve upon and develop basic communication skills.
1. Know who is on the receiving end of the message. How would they like to communicate? Is an electronic way of communicating appropriate? Will feelings/emotions be involved? Would this be better to do in person?
2. Be aware of your feelings – take an emotional temperature of yourself before you are about to communicate something of an important nature. Are you about to respond to someone and you are angry? Could you be projecting feelings from something else in your life onto someone else because they happen to walk in your office in that moment? Take the time to form your thoughts and feelings before expressing them.
3. Practice what you are trying to convey in the event it is difficult or new information to deliver. Perhaps you need to manage a sensitive issue at work. Maybe practicing with a friend or partner will help.
4. Be present to your intended audience. Make sure when you are communicating with someone you have their full attention as you should give them yours. An important meeting should not involve two people talking, while also looking and texting on their respective mobile device. Use eye contact if the communication is done in person. Ever send an email to the wrong person? Be mindful of who and what you are doing in the moment.
Paying attention to how you communicate (verbally & nonverbally) has the capacity to improve relationships in the personal and professional world. Now who wouldn’t want that?!