Why effective communication skills?

Communication, to me, is an art by itself. Even though we have been communicating with others since our infancy, the delicate process of transmitting information from one person to another is a very complex process which can have two very extreme results: its can help one either in making positive impressions or look like a total idiot in front of others.

Let us first look at verbal communication. During a verbal communication there will always be some of the “meaning” lost in simple transmission of the message from the sender to the receiver. In many situations a lot of the true message is lost and the message that is heard by the other party is often far different than the one that was intended. In this case, it spells trouble. Allow me to share a simple example of a poor communication that happened to me not too long ago:

  • Friend: “I think you should stop spending so much time and money on arcade games.”
  • Me: (thinking) who are you to judge me you minge?

It all seemed like the littlest, harmless comment that the friend had casually made. She meant well, her advice meant good. But alas no, to me at that point of time the message I had interpreted from her was a total opposite of its initial meaning. There are so many sources of error that can enter into a communication process, and identifying them is hard enough, not mentioning to rectify and correct it all. Verbal miscommunication is even more commonly encountered in cross-cultural situations where language is an issue. But it is also common among people of the same culture.

Moving on, a large percentage of the meaning we derive from communication is from non-verbal cues that the other person gives. I am sure all of us can relate to times where a person says one thing but communicates something totally different through vocal intonation and body language. Now that is the annoying part. Do I trust what you just said or should I be lead on by your body language? Contradiction is a common form of misunderstanding, as example of poor communication skill when one contradicts a message they are trying to convey across.

Communication is needed everywhere. One can gain so much more from bettering their communication skills, some benefits I can think of are improved productivity and interpersonal relationship, fewer grievances, enhanced creativity and efficiency, greater personal satisfaction and so much more. Effective communication skills are definitely essential and a key to better learning, and success in life.

(Edited version 1.1)