True Communication Is Being Yourself When You Interact With Others

Communication is at the heart of life. We all love to communicate about those things that are important to us. In its own way it is as essential to us as eating or sleeping. In many ways it is what makes the world go round.

What is this all about?

What is the art of communicating? What are the functions or definition of communicating? In simple terms this process is the exchange of ideas or information. While this can just be a one way affair, it is more rewarding when a two-way process occurs. One person communicates and for success the second person needs to understand and be in a position to respond, if they wish to. Without the interaction of the second person does a real conversation occur? Are we really conversing - I don't really think so.

What types of communicating are there?

Apart from verbal and non-verbal, and the use of technology in its many and varied forms 'what can we say and how can we say it'?

  • We can use a bulletin to impart or share information
  • We can send out a communiquĂ© or an official notification
  • We can make a connection with another person, that two way thing again
  • We can converse as in having a conversation
  • We can convey or give an idea of or about something
  • We can make contact - come together where this did not or may not have happened before
  • We can correspond where we can be writing to convey or impart our message
  • We can disclose something to another that was previously not known or hidden
  • We can dictate our terms or use dictation to let our message be copied before being sent on to its destination
  • We can divulge our information
  • We can impart our information
  • We can inform the receiver of the information
  • We can interface with the person or group of people we need to converse with, another chance to get our message across
  • We can network with people and, for example, share ideas, information or skills
  • We can reach an audience and communicate with small or large numbers of people at one and the same time
  • We can reveal something about ourselves or some information that is of value to the recipient
  • We can signal our intentions to do something
  • We can talk with another person or group of people
  • We can tell as in sharing a story or anecdote
  • We can write our ideas or information down for later reading by us or others

It is astonishing how varied and important the ways we communicate and what we communicate is to our daily lives. Be it for pleasure or business none of us can retreat away from communicating with others about both trivial and important things in our lives.

The power of words

Words themselves are very powerful. The right use of the right word at the right time is a skill in itself. For instance, if you want or need help there is a right way to ask for it. If you rub the other person up the wrong way are they likely to respond to your plea for assistance?

The art of communicating is the process of getting your point across in a responsible and thoughtful way. Choosing the right words will help enormously. But equally important is your manner, your demeanour and your behavior. Your body language as you speak will reassure the recipient of your sincerity and friendliness or confirm that you are not being honest with them - and you can respond accordingly.

Being polite and friendly, respectful and understanding will help you along through life and in your communications. The use of 'please' and 'thank you' will show that you are a caring and approachable person who is seeking assistance or advice, and not a person who is domineering or arrogant - a person likely to have their request refused or delayed.

Making a good impression

There are no real secrets to communicating if we just be ourselves and be natural. There are a thousand and one ways to get our point across. But if we are friendly and courteous then the first impression is carried over into the response we may receive. If, however, we are grumpy and rude, then what do we really think that our response will be? We only have to think about when we have been on the receiving end of not too polite a conversation or request for assistance. What did we do then, or how did we feel about it?

Mean what you say

It does really help if you mean what you say, and say what you mean. How do you expect to be understood if you don't understand what you are yourself trying to say? Equally, it is good to be straightforward and clear about what you say or mean. Forthrightness itself is not being rude, though it can be close to being aggressive, but most of us prefer to know where we stand (though we may not admit it). Beating about the bush or being confusing and lacking clarity seldom improves the understanding of our message or improve its reception.

Value what others say

You may have a lot to say but give the other 'guy' a chance. Otherwise you may as well be talking to yourself (and that is a subject for another time). Being a friend or being friendly is listening to what the other person is communicating (and not just saying). And don't just listen be attentive. Hearing is listening without you being there. Being attentive is giving the communicator the time of day and their chance to communicate. This is just what you wish for when your turn to speak arrives.

Say what you mean . . .

We know what we wish to say but we don't always say it. This makes it difficult to be understood. The listener may think they understand what we said, but did they understand what we meant (to say)? If only communicating were easy . . .

And thinking as you go along . . .

We may be listening attentively or so we think, but actually we are planning our riposte. We are only half listening. The other half of us is coming up with the killer response. The dynamic continuation is coming to mind, rather than listening to the person talking and waiting for a suitable pause and then contributing meaningfully to the conversation.

At times this easier said than done but is a skill worth cultivating. Listen then respond - don't listen and respond (in your thoughts) at the same time . . .

Enjoy the communication

Why not enjoy your conversations? Have some fun with people. Don't mind not appearing as intelligent as you really think you are. Be willing to pick holes in yourself or laugh at yourself. Others will then warm to you and like to be around you. And like to be your friend. And they will value your friendship.

Feedback?

Don't just sit there like a dummy, take part in the conversation. There is no more frustrating an experience than talking to someone who shows no signs that they are indeed with you - let alone about to reply or add something to the discussion. Show some interest or at the least politely excuse yourself if you really do need to go.

So what is effective communications and can I do it?

Yes of course you can. It can take practice, and take confidence. But if you have something to say then join in, others will listen. They only won't listen if you don't sound like you really are part of the discussion or they are rude, and if the latter you may as well move away now.

To be effective you need to get your message across. And heart felt communications can really get through. If your heart speaks to another heart the message does get through. This just seems to be one of life's natural laws. And if your message is not in the heart felt mould don't worry, be yourself, be friendly and get in there and the rest will take care of itself.

Being understood

Being understood and getting a response is the art of communication. I don't remember who said it but it is so true. About the number of times something needs to be said before it is understood:

'Ten times said one time heard,

Ten times heard one time understood'

So it takes, if you follow this suggestion, one hundred times to get your message across. So persevere with communicating and you will get there and have a lot of fun along the way. And you will get to meet a lot of new friends along the way.