Aspects of Effective Communication

How do you measure how effective your communication is?

Before I go any further this is just a quick note to you to let you know there will be a series of articles posted on this site over the next few months that will assist you to learn effective communication.

Here’s a question for you to consider…

Is there a magic sign that lets you know if you have effective communication or not?

The obvious answer is the results that you get. However, the results that you get aren’t necessarily the results that you want.

When planning any form of communication you need to have a clearly stated outcome, goal, or objective. The more detailed that goal is the more likely you are to get what you want. This is because once you have your goal/s clearly described and recorded you have something to measure your results against. And once you have that specification to measure against you are then able to adjust your results by altering your message to the world.

One of the Pre-suppositions of NLP is that there is no such thing as failure…only feedback. What this means is that by specifying the result that you want, you are then clear on which aspects ( if any ) you haven’t got, yet.

Once you are clear on your expected results or outcomes….

The way that you communicate your message is the next stage. Now just so you know, I’m not going to go into any great depth here as what you’re learning here is the basics from a five-day advanced communications skill training we’ll be releasing shortly. This training will go into such detail that you will be able to get exactly what you want if you apply what you learn.

How you communicate is made up of many aspects.

These include:

Verbal

Nonverbal – which includes things like the way that you dress and your hairstyle as well as body postures and positions. These are all aspects of Visual communication.

They can be further divided into:

  • conscious and
  • unconscious communication.
  • Auditory- This includes your
  • language patterns,
  • your volume,
  • tonality,
  • the pitch of voice,
  • tempo and
  • speed of speech

At a very detailed level, there is also olfactory which means smell and gustatory or tastes. These last two forms of communication are not so dominant in humans anymore but are still important in the ways that animals communicate.

The way that you assemble all of these aspects will determine how effective your communication is. There is also the factor which few people talk about which is practicing these skills regularly until such times that you become unconsciously skilled at using them. What this means is that in much the same way that you struggled to learn to walk you now do it without having to plan every step. You just get up and you do it.

Assertive Communication – Saying What You Need to Say

Communication skills are key to our day-to-day dealings with people. With them, we can either pass the day chatting away about anything under the sun or end up getting into a scrap over a few minor misunderstandings. The primary use of communication, however, is to pass along a message to influence those around us to see things our way. This is not as evil or insidious as it sounds, since influencing people is something that we do with every word we utter.

We cannot change the fact, however, that there are just some things we can say that can either offend or anger people. This is where an assertive touch to communication steps in.

What is assertive communication?

In a nutshell, communicating assertively allows a person to communicate his or her will, thoughts, and requests in such an effective but inoffensive manner. The primary objective of such assertiveness is then to pass along a strong message directly and clearly while the receiver perceives the message in a positive light.

What benefits does it bring?

Some people clam up and maintain a placating and submissive style of communication in order not to get into conflict with other people. Others carelessly shoot their mouths off, saying whatever they want to say without concern about how the recipient accepts the message. These are the people who lack the communication skills to effectively get the message across to the other party.

Communicating assertively is the bridge between preventing conflict and saying what needs to be said. Words are spoken in such a manner that will provoke acceptance in the other party, not just blind obedience. Since the message was communicated with respect and strength, you can expect the other person to see things your way and accept that point of view openly and willingly.

How is it different from other types of communication?

Assertive communication is about blending respect with power together. You respect the recipient of the message, who will in turn respect the message you have to deliver. You also deliver the message in a powerful enough manner that the receiving party will be able to hear what you say clearly and effectively. This is the secret to communicating assertively and will prove to be a reliable method of communication in the long run.

How do I learn to communicate assertively?

While a person can grasp the basics of respect and power, it takes a lot of time and effort to be able to learn how to communicate assertively. The fine balance required is a difficult line to cross, and you could just end up looking fake and manipulative if you are unable to do naturally apply that balance. As such, a skilled trainer in the art of assertiveness is your best bet to learning how to naturally communicate messages with both respect and power.

Communication Skills Training – The Five Basic Pointers

Communication skills are an essential tool for us to interact with our social environment. Refining them would give us a serious advantage, from influencing others to our train of thought to imparting information quickly and efficiently. These skills, however, are not influenced by our words alone. At least five basic components define a person’s ability to communicate effectively.

As such, communication skills training focuses on these five basic components:

Content of Message

This is perhaps the most obvious component of communication since words and symbols generally have explicit meanings attached to them. The bulk of training then focuses on mastering the content of the message to both send and appropriately receive messages. It must be realized, however, that the content of the message is not the only factor that defines a person’s communication skills.

Method of Delivery

How a message is delivered also augments the message that it contains. Spoken words have a very different impact when you compare them to written words. The various media of communication, from face-to-face communications to telephone conversations to online seminars, all present a message quite clearly, but the effects vary along with the way these messages are presented.

Context of Situation

A message, no what it is or how it is delivered, will have a very different effect with the passage of time and space. A person has to take into consideration the environment when the message is delivered, as this environment may either improve the reaction to the message or twist it into some misunderstanding that will be very hard to clear up.

Nonverbal Gestures

The mouth and the pen are not the only aspects considered in communication skills training. The movement of the body, from fumbling and fussing to minute muscle spasms and twitches, serves as an indicator of a person’s true intent. Few people are consciously aware of their nonverbal gestures, but these gestures will be noticed and interpreted by the recipients.
Status of participants

Respect for participants in communications skills training, or any other training for that matter, is essential. Trainees may not be able to understand what is being said, as they are not yet aware of the content of the training. This may cause the inexperienced trainer to think that they are not interested in the information being passed to them. The trainer must adjust his or her approach when dealing with a diverse range of people.

It is worth noting that these five basic components of effective communication skills are not so easily mastered. It takes a great degree of training and experience to be able to fully comprehend these five components, and the only way to truly hone one’s mastery of them all is to either communicate extensively using trial and error or acquire the services of a professional trainer. The latter is a much more time and cost-effective method of mastering these five components, and doing so will allow you to learn the ropes in a much more comprehensive and structured manner.