Moving up the social ladder means you need to upgrade your people skills unflaggingly. No matter how impressive your technical skills are, remember, your social skills are what will eventually earn you brownie points. Being a social animal, it is impossible for a man to survive without expressing himself or communicating with others. All said and done, most people find it hard to put across their thoughts and feelings in the correct way. Many a times it might occur to you that the person on the other end has not received your message well, or even worse, misunderstood it. It is a common thing and happens to the best of people. Therefore, communication is not as simple as you think. However, it isn’t a complicated process either. Although it is true that some things can be learnt only through experience, there are a few people skills that can be just acquired with practice. Read further to know about some of the basics of communication with people.
Importance Of Communication With People
Communication at a surface level seems pretty simple. However, if you probe deeper, you will realize that this is hardly the case. Communication has three ramifications — the first complication is the medium through which a message is sent across, the second is the encoding of the message, and the final complication is usually at the receiver’s end, where the decoding takes place. The receiver is certainly another person with different experiences and different perception. Therefore, there are fair chances of the message being misinterpreted. For example, check out the below conversation between Ram and Bob: Ram is an Indian and Bob is an American.
Bob says, “There is a boy in our neighborhood, who claims to be born again.”
Bob is trying to tell Ram that the boy in his neighborhood claims to have converted into Christianity. Now, if Ram being an Indian and Hindu, does not have the same background knowledge on the subject as Bob, he might interpret it as reincarnation. These complications in communication make it inevitable for you to keep some very important things in mind while talking to people.
The above-mentioned example clearly explains the importance of context sensitivity. If Bob had first explained the context of his statement, explaining what ‘born again’ meant, Ram’s misunderstanding could have been avoided.
Do Not Assume
Most misunderstandings arise when you assume that the other person completely understands whatever you are saying. For example, you, as a leader, want to teach your teammates a new concept. You cannot assume all of them to be at the same level and have similar intelligence. Therefore, you have to explain things in a way that every member in the team can comprehend and execute.
Logic is the best way to make people understand what you really mean to say. When you speak, frame and place your sentences logically. When you do so, the listener finds it easier to place your sentences in his or her mind and therefore understand it better. Even complex concepts and ideas can be broken down into simpler ones by mere logic; hence the comprehension is much better.
Almost everyone is aware of this part of good communication. However, sadly, very few people implement this virtue. It is mostly seen that people love talking and getting there point across without much reception of what the other person is trying to say. This puts hurdles on the way of good communication. Unless you listen well, it is impossible to understand what the other person is saying, which leads to you talking something completely out of the line. Especially within discussions and debates, it is important to understand and respect the others’ point of view and counter them accordingly.
Everyone knows about verbal communication that involves words. Non-verbal communication is of equal significance. Your expressions and body gestures are factors that display your real intentions. When you meet someone new, a friendly smile and handshake makes you look more approachable—but if your smile is momentary and handshake more brief than usual, the person gets the idea that you might not be that friendly.
These tips will help you to communicate with people better and reach new heights in both your personal and professional life.