The word ‘Communication’ comes from the latin word “commūnicāre, meaning “to share”. And we have enough digital platforms to share our thoughts, opinions and messages. We do not have to express because the virtual world does it for us. Every emoticon is unique and global too. No language barrier there and no translations required. However how effective is virtual communication. Do we understand? Do we get misunderstood? Does the message reach across? Digital platforms and social media are a huge advantage but let’s accept the fact, that with virtual communication people become less expressive. Because there is lesser human connectivity and so it seems more ‘virtual’ than real. As humans we have been blessed with 5 senses…almost 6. We can most certainly use these 5 senses to communicate. And communicate for real. Here are some tips that could be helpful in making real communication.
- Intention: If intentions could be heard, words would not be needed. Often people think that people can read their minds. Ohh if that was true. But one has to speak their mind. By the time the thought changes to words and is spoken, the message loses its essence. So intention to speak is important. If one has thought that a communication has to be made, one will find words to speak. Words just need to be expressed not buried.
- SMS- mode: what this means is to keep the conversation short and simple. Whether it’s a presentation, board room meeting, lecture or a casual conversation. No one has time to sit for long as attention span is less. So keep the message short, concise and to the point. Also, its important to constantly get feedback. It’s only then can a 2 way communication happen. Body language, eye contact, facial expressions are all indicators whether the other person or group is listening and responding.
- Active listening : Active listening is a golden rule of communication… In a conversation the more we listen, the more we have clarity about what to speak ….or what not to speak. Not everybody will be on the same frequency to understand a joke or a satire or the depth of an opinion. So, it’s best to first listen and understand what the speaker is really choosing to talk about. A good listener makes a good communicator.
- Topic sensitive: India being a diverse country, people tend to be topic sensitive. So we sometimes need to desensitize when we communicate. It’s best to stick to general topics which includes everything but touches nothing. Whether it be politics, Religion, Sports, Fashion, Entertainment. If the receiver is keen on talking more deeply about a certain topic, then it makes for a great conversation. There could be different views and perspectives to an issue that we were not aware about.
- Pinch of humour: Just a pinch of sugar sometimes adds the zing to a dessert which by definition is supposed to be sweet. Similarly, a pinch of humour often keeps a conversation alive, light and interesting. Sometimes humour also helps to escape out of a communication barrier and a conversation that is not healthy.
Last but not the least, Communication is nothing but the art of sharing what we think. And sharing is caring. When we talk we feel better, lighter and …..sometimes smarter. As the adage goes “ Talk your heart out” literally means to just say what’s inside of you. That’s the only way someone gets a peek into you. So, talk, speak, write and share because you care!
About the author:
Padmaja Acharya – From the ancient language of Sanskrit comes my name ‘Padmaja’, derived from Padma (meaning lotus) and Ja (meaning to take birth from). A woman as created by the divine. An Engineer and MBA by virtue of education. A dance choreographer, teacher by virtue of passion. A soft skill trainer and educator by profession. An author and speaker as guided by my calling. This is what encompasses me.
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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