The word communicate comes from the latin “communis” or “common”. We speak of a common room that everyone shares or a university commons where everyone shares the space. It indicates that two people or two groups have something shared in common but many problems and disputes can be traced to a lack of understanding.
People cannot live without each other – we are social beings. As soon as we are in contact with others we are communicating. For this we can make use of spoken and written language. In these ways we make the content of a message clear to each other. However we can also communicate without words. This kind of communication tells us something about the relationship between people. Often this is more important than getting the content of the message across. The communication about this non spoken communication, which tells us something about the relationship between people, is called Meta-Communication. Communicating about communication!
Communication is about listening and sending. Listening with our ears and eyes and sending with words, text, and body language.
• Effective Listening Skills – Your ears. The key to getting someone to understand what you are trying to say is to speak in his or her language. If you want to know what that is, you have to listen first. When you are a good listener, you are a good learner. Good learners are constantly improving their personal effectiveness.
• Effective Listening Skills – Your eyes. So much of what is said in person to person communication occurs through subtle body language. Listening to what you’re seeing and being aware of what your body is saying, has an important positive impact on your „hearing“ overall.
• Communication – Your mouth. Voice tone and inflection, as well as the specific words chosen all add to the totality of your „message.“ Researchers say that 94% of the meaning of our communication is conveyed by body language, tone of voice and facial expression. Increasing the likelihood that you will be heard as you intended is a skill that can be practiced and improved.
The most important lessons for elementary-school pupils focus on communication skills. They use the skills of listening, talking, reading, or writing almost every moment in their work and play. These skills are basic tools in learning each new subject. Mastery of them helps prepare young people for solving the problems of adult life. Whatever careers they choose, they must communicate in order to work with others and put their ideas and knowledge to use. Personality development is also dependent upon good communication skills.
Thoughtful parents provide their children with a wide variety of experiences in listening and speaking. These experiences prepare the children for rapid progress in communication skills in school. Babies begin listening early. They have learned the meaning of many words and other sounds long before they speak their first words. As they continue to develop, the family provides them with words they need, helping with pronunciation and meaning. The children are encouraged to ask questions. Well-selected books and pictures provide topics for talking and listening.
Children are self-centered in their use of oral communication (speaking and listening) when they enter school. Members of the family have adjusted their topics, words, and sentences to the child’s ability to understand. Schoolchildren must learn to work with the group and to adjust to others’ interests. Communication becomes a social experience.
People spend about 45 percent of their communicating time in listening, 30 percent in speaking, and only 25 percent in reading and writing. Listening was the chief means of learning until books became abundant after the invention of printing. Listening has revived in importance with the spread of radio, television, recordings, and films. When people are bored with what they hear, however, their minds frequently tune it out. Skilled listening involves thinking as well as hearing. School activities for practicing and improving speech include conversation, discussion, reports, planning and evaluating, storytelling, and reciting poetry. School programs and assemblies are occasions during which students can demonstrate speech skills.
Modern communications technologies enable different kinds of communication. Until Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, the written letter was the main means of long distance communication. In the intervening century people have adapted to the telephone and new means of communication evolved that are different from those used face-to-face.
If we can’t see the people we are speaking to, we can’t see their body language. This places great emphasis on the clarity of what is being said. If you observe someone you know making a ‘phone call you may see and hear them behaving differently to the way they would behave in a face-to-face conversation.
Some channels of communication seem to influence what we say and how we say it. And sometimes we read things into the message, which are not there.
The communication is characterised by each individual’s background and culture, and their understanding (or lack of understanding) of the background and culture of the others. Misunderstandings are common.
Body Language is the unspoken communication that goes on in every Face-to-Face encounter with another human being. It tells
you their true feelings towards you and how well your words are being received. Your ability to read and understand another person’s Body Language can mean the difference between making a great impression or a very bad one! It could help you in that job interview, that meeting, that business function, or special date!
The words of the conversation probably weren’t what we noticed as a direct lie. It was more likely to be the body movements and signals that gave them away.