Communication is an integral instinct of all living things. The most important bearings of communication are best understood when there is a lack of it. The following article discusses how important communication is and why it plays such a vital role in our daily lives.
There is more to communication than just talk and gesture. Listening, understanding and interpreting are as much integral to communication as words – verbal, written or gestured. Yes, even gestures in communication play a crucial role in conveying and interpreting the message! Similarly, how we communicate or express ourselves goes a great way towards determining how our expressions are interpreted.
To quote Karl Popper, “It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood”. Faulty or incomplete communication can completely mar the purpose of communicating and may result in damaging consequences. This is where understanding how important communication is and communicating the right way comes into picture.
Not everyone is equally endowed with the ability to effectively express himself and this is where the significance of communication skills can be truly fathomed. Communicating the right way is equally important in every walk of life, be it personal, professional or social. Let’s take a look at some major areas where or a lack of right communication can have serious implications.
The Communication Process
The communication process involves a sender or a communication source, the subject matter of communication, expressions used for communicating (encoding), the medium of communication, receiver(s) of the communication and the interpretation thereof (decoding) and feedback. This can be diagrammatically represented as follows:-
|SENDER >> MESSAGE >> ENCODING >>
|DECODING << RECEIVER << MEDIUM <<
The last part, i.e. FEEDBACK is crucial in determining whether the communication has been understood by the receiver in the same light as intended by the sender. Let us try and understand the importance of communication in different walks of our daily lives.
Gravity of Communication in Business
The success of any business lies as much in networking and building sound professional relationships as it does in individual tact and business acumen. Communication is a crucial decisive factor in business relations. It is very important to say the right things at the right time and at the right place when dealing with partners, customers, stakeholders, media and, sometimes, even competitors. Any miscommunication or ambiguity can pour pails of cold water on your hard work and ruin your chances of survival in today’s competitive business environment.
Maintaining professional etiquette in oral and written business communication is of utmost importance and must not be taken lightly. We should be grateful that we are living in an era of enlightenment where we have access to training on just about anything under the sun! Nowadays, many courses are available that provide training on developing business communication skills and correspondence and a lot of educational institutes that conduct classes on ways to improve communication skills. Effective communication skills in business go a long way in sealing your financial success.
Importance of Communication in the Workplace
The most difficult part of running an organization is managing the human resources. This is one resource which doesn’t work on any principle of management, economics, psychology or any other social science! This is the most random and volatile resource which must be managed with great dexterity to reach the desired organizational goals.
Communication is that lubricant which keeps this resource moving throughout the organizational machinery. The necessity of communication in the workplace is manifold, as it involves communication along vertical, horizontal and parallel organizational levels and such communication should always follow the hierarchy prescribed by the organization.
A breach of the hierarchical channel of communication is known as a Gang Plank and should be avoided as much as possible. Communication in the workplace involves interpersonal communication between colleagues, superior and subordinates and vice versa and workplace communication skills come handy in such situations.
A clear understanding of the purpose of such communication, especially if it is of a vertical nature, along with the expectations of the sender and receiver are extremely important for the smooth running of an organization.
Importance of Communication in Leadership
A leader is expected to represent his/her followers and motivate them to reach heights of success through individual and collective effort. Communication is the best equipment a leader can employ to achieve this goal. Even ideals resting upon strong principles can fall flat and fail to motivate due to lack of effective communication skills.
History is galore with examples of many national leaders who have moved the masses by their life-changing speeches and powerful writings! Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. are prominent examples of outstanding leaders who used the tool of effective communication.
Significance of Communication in Relationships
I don’t think I need to elaborate much on this, as we all have, some time or the other, experienced certain roadblocks and voids in our relationships owing to lack of communication. Lack of communication in relationships results in frustration, misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, guilt and growth of personal differences.
It is difficult for people who share their lives with each other to coexist for long without having regular and smooth communication for oiling the machinery of the relationship. Relationship communication problems can only be solved through active and effective communication.
As living beings, we need to express and understand the expressions of others. Nobody can deny the fact that the human society has to thrive on communication. Civilizations have risen and fallen based upon how good they were at maintaining sound relations with the rest of the world. Communication is, indeed, the very lubricant that makes the machinery of human relations function smoothly. Therefore, the significance of communication cannot and should not be underestimated.
Sometimes, difficult situations in life can be resolved by just sitting down and talking it out! Similarly, most personal, professional and social disasters can be averted by maintaining clear, appropriate and unambiguous communication. All we need is some effort on our part to identify and avoid barriers to effective communication to make our lives and the lives of those around us better.