I remember this incident, not so long ago, where we were traveling to Kerala. We had hired a cab service for travel within Kerala. The driver of the cab spoke only Malayalam and only one of my colleagues could follow it. On the way we asked him to stop for food. At the halt, I tried to say something about reaching early to him in English and he responded in Malayalam. As I could not understand what he said, I said the same thing again and he responded in Malayalam. I was getting agitated as I could not communicate what I wanted to say, and I started trying different ways. My colleague in the meantime reached the cab, and after a few seconds, told me that the driver was essentially replying to my statement. He understands English but, can’t speak the language. However, the driver had provided some non-verbal cues that I had simply ignored in my impatience.
This is a very small incident but, it is very important for what I am going to talk about next. Communication is an important and essential part of our daily lives and by this I don’t mean just the verbal volumes, but also the non verbal cues.
Before we understand the golden rules of effective communication skills, let’s understand what causes issues in communication.
How communication issues occur?
» Lack of clarity:
When you are vague about what you want to convey, then you will face issues in getting the things done. I think we should approve it is very vague. Do you want to approve or not, the question still remains. Such communication which lacks clarity does not get you anywhere.
» Information Overload:
This is the second most important reason for issues in communication. When there is too much information available and you are not sure which one is useful, you won’t be able to express yourself freely and communicate exactly what you want.
» Distracted communication:
When you are communicating, and there is just too much distraction in the place around you, the communication is not clear. For instance, an important meeting in a cafe can lead to miscommunication. The sound will cause problems in hearing.
» Disinterested people:
When the people you are communicating with are not interested in what you have to say, it can cause miscommunication. The people, in front of you, if they are yawning or fawning interest, make sure you discontinue the conversation immediately.
You need to identify ways in which you can effectively communicate : Few effective communication methods
Tips to effective communication
- Start with the purpose: what is the main aim of what you are planning to do? For instance, when I want to tell someone to drive fast, I should communicate the reason. It should help them know why I need to reach early.
- Visual aids help: whether or not you speak the same language, communicating using visual cues always helps. For instance, in this case I should have used some non-verbal cues or gestures in order to help communicate what’s on my mind. Similarly, I should also have taken help from someone who understands. My limitations and the fact that I did not seek help early, led to a delay in communicating effectively.
- Empathy is important: when you are delegating a task, it is important you take into consideration the impact your words will have on people. When getting things done, it is important to empathize with the person and communicate your tasks accordingly.
- Keep it very simple: the most important reason why communication fails is that you use jargons or heavy words that don’t go down well with the person in concern. The best way to deal with it is to keep it simple and understandable. Make sure you understand the person and communicate accordingly
Finally, you ought to customise your communication to meet the demands of the listener. Right from the language to the gestures, make sure your communication represents an understanding of the person you are talking to and also a knowledge of where they are coming from.
It is important that you communicate what you aim to say with minimal words and better gestures. Communication is an art learnt with time.
If you are facing difficulties in getting things done or delivered owing to ineffective communication, schedule a meeting with me. I offer consultation services for business and personal communication, ensuring complete delivery and that too timely.