Effective Communication

L33t Index


Over the years the way we as a society have communicated with one-another has changed in ways people from yesteryear could have never imagined. With the emergence of apps such as snap-chat and kik, one of the most rapidly growing forms of communication is via small amount of text accompanied by a video or photo. This shows how we build communication around our culture, in this case we are seemingly focus on speed/efficiency, because as the saying goes a photo speaks a thousand word.

Within Communication there are 3 skills, these are:

  • General Communication skills

  • Non-Verbal Communication skills

  • Interpersonal Communication skills

General Communication Skills

General communication skills are all to do with the situation you are in and being able to communication in a way that is appropriate for that situation. An example of this is when you are delivering a speech to children it is important to refrain from cursing or using euphemisms, but its also important to keep the tone at one that is suited to their age/intellect for example refraining from using technical jargon, or using metaphors that would be out of their realm of understanding. Another example of general communication skills is taking into account a persons ethnicity or culture, as some cultures find things offensive that the western world might not; for example in the middle-east it is considered rude for a man to maintain eye-contact with a woman as it is seen as a sexual advance.

Written Communication Skills

Non-verbal communication is the fastest growing, if not already the most common, form of communication, and rightly so. Non-verbal communication is not only easier to translate, but it allows people from all over the world to communicate and not be hit with hefty international call charges. It also means people who struggle to communicate verbally, such as deaf people or even people who are just shy to human interaction, lead a healthy social life.

The main form of modern Written communication is email and instant messaging services. An example of good Written communication skills is a well presented email (e.g header, signature, date..etc) as it can set a tone of formality or professionalism which is often a task to convey though written word. One way to set a tone via email/text is the use of CAPSLOCK, red text or emoticons, however these are unacceptable for the work place not only because of the unprofessional image it gives off, but when using these methods the tone can often be mistook, for example urgency can easily be mistaken for anger.It is also very important that both grammar and spelling is air-tight in formal emails, otherwise it can take away from any urgency or seriousness once you need to correct yourself.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

Interpersonal Communication is a key part of any interaction in that we can subconsciously set a tone without directly prompting it. Interpersonal Communication is often the truest form of communication and can allow listeners/watchers to not only judge what the person is saying, but their demeanor/personality as well. A good example of Interpersonal Communication is someone giving a speech; if they have bad posture they could be seen as lazy or uneducated, if they have their arms folded across there body it can make them seem self-conscious or if speak with a lowered voice they could come across as insecure or hesitant, where-as speaking in a raised voice can make them seem angry, even if they are not.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Even though these methods seem good, all methods of communication have their draw-backs. It is important to know these barriers before planning a conference or speech.

General Communication Barriers

Many of the barriers surrounding general communication are things that cannot be controlled such as background noise interrupting your speech, although there are a few avoidable issues such as people of different ethnicity speaking different languages. We can work around this by either having a translator present or by using a different form of communication such as written communication which is much easier to translate using modern technologies.

Interpersonal Communication Barriers

A barrier of Interpersonal communication is that people who are naturally of a nervous disposition sometimes cannot avoid doing certain thing such as folding their arms, or scratching their neck; and this means no matter how confident they are in what they are saying they still appear weak or insecure. Another barrier of interpersonal communication is that it is often completely subconscious so even if a person is fully immersed in what you are telling them, they could still yawn or still feel they need to have their arms crossed.

Written Communication Barriers

A key barrier of written communication is the fact it is hard to transfer tone through plain text, and using other means to display tone can often seem unprofessional. Other than setting tone another issue that can be had with the fact that unlike in a traditional face-to-face conversation, the reply is not always instant, which can lead to one party losing interest or even forgetting what the conversation was about. There is also a barrier in that not everyone can read so in terms of communicating with a deaf or dyslexic person, written communication is limited.