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It seems to be a stupid question why we communicate. One of the first things a child learns to do is to communicate. From their early stages, they try to communicate with their mothers and guidance. Babies cry to show their plight, that’s their means of communication. Gradually, the pronunciation of phrases and sentences becomes easy. A child looks and listens attentively to the communication medium around them. 

People see the inability to talk or hear as a disability. But then, deaf and dumb people can communicate with sign languages. This doesn’t only show the importance of communication but its peculiarity and uniqueness. Also, it shows how to urge it is to communicate.

The importance of communication in our daily lives cannot be underestimated. Imagine someone waking up early in the morning and then moving around without communicating with people around him. What a boring life it would be.

What is Communication?

Communication in simple terms occurs when a piece of information sent by a sender is well understood by the receiver. You are not communicating if the person you are messaging cannot understand what you are saying. For example, if a man travels outside his country to another country, they learn how to communicate with the people over there. 

Such a person can either look for an interpreter, use an online communication app (google translate, etc.), or learn the language. If he finds himself among people speaking a language that he doesn’t understand, he feels insecure. 

Even when considering where to go in search of greener pastures, the language barrier is a key factor. When you can’t comprehend the language of the state you find yourself in; you won’t be able to communicate well. 

In a company, family, or community, communication is essential for progress and understanding. Being able to communicate is one of the most important life skills. Without it, you can’t make sense to people.

Active and Passive Communication

Communication could be active or passive depending on the mode of communication. Active communication involves a sender to a direct receiver or audience. The message is specifically meant for a particular receiver or a group of people. On the other hand, passive communication is indirect—for example, signposts or billboards. Information goes through these means, but not everyone will pay attention to it.

Active communication brings about active response and feedback. If you are the sender, you send your message in clear terms, either in writing or face to face. You can also ask questions to check if the information is understood. Furthermore, the recipient in active communication is expected to give feedback on the information received. 

Passive communication, in most cases, is done to draw attention and not immediate response. 

Communication is a two-way process 

Unlike broadcasting or simply sending out information, active communication involves both sending and receiving messages. It, therefore, requires speaking, listening, vision, and sign languages as the case might be. Most importantly, developing a shared understanding of the message being transmitted and received.

why we communicate

Reasons why we communicate

Following are the reasons why we communicate in different places.

In a company 

Increased understanding of the company’s values

Make your values clear to your employees and customers. Communicate clearly what your expectations are so that employees can know if they fit in with the company.

Improve customer service

Customer services are all about good communication. Well-informed workers will be able to communicate the company’s products and services. Aside from this, they will be able to satisfy customers and solve issues with clients.

Improves teamwork

Effective communication between co-workers and their superiors will improve teamwork. Bosses are expected to remind the employees of the target to ensure that they are on track. 

Minimize confusion

Communication helps to reduce confusion in the company. The company’s goals and products expectations are clearly stated.

Encourage a facilitating working environment

When employees are encouraged to communicate and are communicated to, it facilitates an open-minded environment.

Increases productivity

To ensure the maximization of time and resources, bosses must communicate with their employees.

Employees feel valued

Employees feel valued when they are timely informed. They feel reckoned with when they are communicated to.

In homes, communities, and our daily lives 

Unity

Proper communication is needed to keep peace and harmony in families, within communities, and among peers. 

Interpersonal relationship

To build a strong interpersonal relationship, you need to be able to communicate well. You need communication to settle a dispute and encourage one another.

Manage interactions among co-workers and peers

There are different scenarios when you find yourself among your co-workers and peers. You don’t relate with everyone in the same manner. Proper communication helps you to manage interaction with people wherever you find yourself.

Establish and maintain relationships

Meeting new people and establishing a long and lasting relationship is important. What will stimulate such a move is communication.

Handling criticism

Criticism is part of our daily experience. Communication helps you to handle criticism properly.

Barriers to effective communication

Communication can be hindered by some barriers. Some messages may not be received in the way the sender intended. Therefore, it is important to seek feedback if the message is well understood. The barriers are ad follows:

The difference in perception

As humans, we are liable to see things in different ways. When a sender sends out a message, the receiver might interpret it differently. 

Emotional barriers

Some medium of sending messages doesn’t allow delivering messages emotionally. People find it difficult to express themselves in the way they want.

Physical disability

Physical disabilities such as inability to hear or speak, stammering, etc., can hinder communication. 

Lack of attention by the receiver

Some people get easily distracted while talking to them, while some feel less interested in what you have to say. 

False assumption and stereotyping

People always like to hear what they want to hear, not the truth (either bitter or sweet). This might lead them into making early conclusions about the message or the source.

Language differences

If you cannot hear a language spoken to you, you can’t comprehend it. As simple as it looks, a language barrier is a big barrier for people. Settling down in an unfamiliar environment with a strange language becomes difficult. 

Unfamiliar accent and vocabulary

Accent and unfamiliar vocabularies could be communication barriers. The way the Americans pronounce some words is different from how some African countries would pronounce them.

Psychological barriers

The psychological state of the communicators will have a lot to say about how the message will be sent, received, and comprehended. For example, if someone is stressed, the communication level reduces. Part of psychological barriers includes stress, anger, low self-esteem, etc.

Attitudinal barriers

Attitudes can prevent people from communicating effectively. Some people are naturally enthusiastic, which helps while communicating, but it’s the opposite in some people. 

why we communicate

Skills needed by the sender for effective delivery

Following are the skills that you should have as a sender for effective delivery.

Blunt and Straightforward

For effective delivery of messages, the sender must be blunt and straightforward. He must not be shy to communicate and straight to the point. In addition to that, he must avoid cutting corners.

Clarity

This is similar to the first option. Clarity is important while communicating. Your message should be in clear and simple terms for easy assimilation. Speaking big grammar and vocabulary to gain applause is not communication.

Questioning

Ask questions to know if your listener understands what you are saying. Feedback helps to know that you haven’t wasted time, money, and resources.

Skills needed by the receiver for effective comprehension

There are some of the most important skills that a receiver should have for effective comprehension.

Active listening

Listening attentively aids comprehension. You will be able to point out where you don’t understand or need more explanation. 

Clarification

Make sure to know the mind of the sender for directions.

Reflection

Reflect on the words you have heard, digest them. You can be able to make suggestions that could work better for the execution of the message.

Valuable communication skills

Here are some valuable communication skills that everyone should possess.

Interpersonal communication skills

Interpersonal communication skills are skills used when engaged in face-to-face conversations. 

Verbal communication skills

It is all about what we say. Verbal communication can be in spoken or written forms.

Non-verbal communication skills

One of the barriers listed above is a physical disability which includes deafness and dumbness. Non-verbal communication skills are needed to bypass these challenges. They include gestures, signs, facial expressions, and body language. Not that non-verbal communication skill is not only for disabled people only.

Listening skills

Listening shares the same importance as much as sending. Many people take listening for granted. Overconfidence plays a great role in people’s negligence to listening.

Presentation skills

Presentation is often used in a formal office setting. Presentation skills are vital to the delivery of the message. You can have a great write-up but your presentation might be bad.

Writing skills

Writing skill was rated as one of the top 21st-century skills to learn. It helps you to be able to put down your message clearly in words.

Above all, it’s imperative to know that communication is crucial to a man’s existence. He will continue to live in isolation if he doesn’t communicate. To broaden your knowledge, join us at The Black Sheep Community today!

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