Are We Communicating Effectively?


“What we are communicates more eloquently than anything we say or do.”  ~ Stephen R Covey
One question in it read: "Length at residence?" He wrote: "About 30 feet." He figured that the question was on dimensions, because meanings are found less in words, but more in person, and the way they interpret those words. After all, words are only the attire that thoughts wear, and, if that is the case, then thoughts define who we are.
More often than not, good thoughts spring from good people, like a good tree yielding good fruit. Likewise, not-so-good thoughts find their source in not-so-good people, like a bad tree yielding bad fruit. When such good or bad thoughts (which always precede words) are expressed, we attempt to communicate.
But, is our communication effective?
The answer to that question depends on the response we get. A kind person may forgive an unkind thought, but an unkind person may retaliate. A kind person may not ascribe motives to the words, but the unkind person will see shadows where none exist. An understanding person will give the benefit of the doubt to the one who is communicating.
Essentially, communication at its core, is about understanding and being understood. To make that possible, the communicator would do well to remember to be honest, clear, and simple – to express and not to impress. When the three elements unite, effective communication is easier to understand. No wonder Somerset Maugham wrote: “To write simply is as difficult as being good”.
Let’s look at some ways we can become better communicators, whether in writing or in speech:
Be simple. When communicating a specific point or thought, try to use simple words that clothe honest thoughts, ones most readers will understand. Skip the big sounding, but often obscure, words. Draft and redraft until your words will make sense to all readers.
Why do spouses divorce, families fall apart, children leave home, friends break bonds, employees become spiteful, and countries go to war? Most often, there are grave misunderstandings in such fractured relationships. There is a wide gap between what was intended and what was understood. Communication and relationships are inseparably bonded. If only we came to terms with that implication, we would have a new world!
But, sadly, we are so trapped in the rules of grammar, guidelines for sentence construction, correct idioms, and other facets of the language, we seldom think of the feelings behind those words.
Some experts compare communication to an iceberg. The smaller, visible part represents skills – diction, phonetics, word carpentry, and the rest. The larger, hidden part is the person – beliefs, values, and feelings. Skills are important, but not as important as understanding the person or the group to whom the message is directed. Is there scope for empathy?
When we go beyond the words and imbue those thoughts with feelings, we understand and unite with the process, then suppressed feelings are no longer caged but released and communication becomes free. The reward for such self-disclosure is what is referred to as Peak communication – something that is not normally achieved often, because we are imperfect.

Read the entire article in the May 2023 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!