Several researchers have stressed the importance of communicating one’s feelings effectively. This is as important to a social structure as breathing is to life. Hence we have to understand the various properties or characteristics that must qualify our communicating activities and processes. A varied set of skills are thus essential.
The following is a summary of all the characteristics of effective communication:
- Listening for Understanding
- Focus and Attention
- Emotional Awareness and Control
The primary character of any spoken or written form of transmission of information should be to state the message clearly. There are several ways to do it. For example, the sentences should be short and simple. We should prefer the active voice over the passive voice. If we have to convey several messages then it is convenient to state it in separate bulleted points.
Time is an essential parameter in communications. The normal attention span is just a few minutes long. If you present your message in a clear and beautiful manner which is very long, the crux of the report or the message may be lost altogether. Long and lengthy communique is boring and avoided by most. So to summarize this point, effective communication has to be concise.
Whatever message or information or data is present in your communique, it should be well-footed. Your arguments should have data that suitably backs it up. A tangible argument is always easy to understand.
Suppose you are telling a story. What if you start from the middle part? Or what if you state the end in the beginning? Of course, the whole point of narrating a story would become vain. Similarly, when you are presenting your communique, you need to be coherent. You need to understand what goes where and what comes when.
The key to a coherent write-up is a well-planned, logical and sequential presentation of the information. The main ideas should be differentiable and they should follow each other in a way that is derivative of some rules.
We know that all business communications should have some degree of formal flavor. The presenter should try his best to be honest, respectful, considerate, open and polite with the receiver of the information. The message when supplemented with proper care and kindness will definitely find an audience.
A rude presenter will have no audience even if the message he delivers is perfectly effective and important. Offensive words can put off certain factions of people. You should take ample care to not be racist or misogynist or any other bad influence on the audience. Even while using humor you should be very careful that you are not being inconsiderate or cruel to anyone.
Listening For Understanding
Communication doesn’t only mean presenting or generating information. It also means to receive it. In fact, an effective communication channel must have a transducer and a receiver. Half of the faculty for the process is thus a receiver. For the purpose of effective communication, a receiver should have certain qualifiers.
He should be able to detect the message which may be hidden deep within the chatter or gibberish. The good listener observes not only what a person speaks of but also the non-verbal cues. This is what helps in the complete and full understanding of the transmission.
A good listener will have some qualities. He would be emotionally intelligent and mature, objective in approach and practical. His understanding of the message should not be influenced by his own personal judgments of either the topic or the presenter. A good listener should be able to filter through all of these limitations and reach the actual message that the presenter is relaying before them.
Focus And Attention
Multitasking is the name of the game these days. However, while receiving or transmitting information, a certain level of focus is essential. Suppose you are in a star communication channel and are relaying information to multiple sources. You are replying to emails, sending emails, and answering phones.
Any misplaced communication could be disastrous. Also, while receiving information, if you lose focus, you may miss the important parts of the message altogether. Hence we say that focus and attention are very crucial for effective communication.
Emotional Awareness And Control
This is the last but certainly the most important aspect of effective communication. Emotions will guide you through any situation of life. Whether you accept a message with the intention it is relaying with or not, depends on the emotional maturity and your emotional intelligence. Both while relaying information or while receiving it, you have to take extreme care in keeping yourself in an emotionally stable state.