Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules.
Communication is a big part of our daily lives, be it verbal or non-verbal. Conversations help us form and maintain relationships with the different people in our lives. This may be a casual discussion over the phone, a funny conversation over a drink or a formal letter over email. We generally mean well, but due to the way we convey it, our message can be lost in translation and result in a rift between us and the other party.
Since most of us engage in conversations every day, it’s important that we get our message across as clearly as possible. Once we are aware of our communication flaws, we can improve the way we relate with other people. Below are three communication mistakes that we all make.
1. Slow to listen, quick to speak
If you’re a Christian, you may have come across James 1:19 (NIV), which says,
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”. In all contexts of life, the less you listen, the less you will hear.
When having a disagreement, don’t be in a hurry to hurl hurtful words in the heat of the moment. Remember, you can never take back what you say. Therefore, take your time to listen to and understand the message being conveyed to you before giving your response. This way, you can avoid saying things you never meant to say when it is far too late to take them back.
When chatting on the phone, don’t start typing your response while the other person is still ‘typing…’ their message. Take a break and listen to what the other party has to say before giving out feedback.
Everyone can probably agree and say that nothing grinds their gears more than being interrupted mid-conversation. Sometimes, we ourselves subconsciously do this to other people when we’re too excited or super impatient. Worse still, we try to complete the other person’s sentences, but just imagine how frustrating that can be for the other party.
Interruption doesn’t exactly show your level of engagement and enthusiasm for the story. It is just downright rude. Allow the other party to finish what they are saying, even in a text message. Don’t start typing your response while the other person is still ‘typing…’ their message.
Take your time to listen to and understand the message being conveyed to you before giving your response
3. Lack of communication
This one is especially true when someone is upset and expresses their anger in a passive-aggressive way. It is better to calmly communicate your issues instead of holding everything in and exploding on a random day. You don’t want to create a rift between you and your loved ones.
With relationships, in particular, it’s expected that both parties maintain constant communication. Poor communication can break up an entire relationship, but there should be boundaries. Have an agreement with your partner on what styles of communication work for the two of you.
Lack of communication is just as bad as too much communication, so there is no need to keep tabs on each and every detail of everything you do and where you are at each given moment during the day.
Communication is fundamental to the existence and survival of humans as well as to an organization. Good communication skills are vital to a healthy, efficient workplace.