Last summer, I went to meet an advertising agent at his office for some business of mine. While waiting for him at the office welcome lounge, the receptionist asked me to feel free and grab a cup of coffee for myself in the meantime. Heading towards the coffee bar, here’s what my eyes fell upon, a large sign board beside the snack counter which said in big bold letters, “After tea break staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.” I gave up the coffee and darted out, making a terrible attempt to hold back my laughter. I certainly did not want to associate with such a disastrous advertising company.
Communicating effectively, whether written or spoken should be an important lesson in all personality building text books as it is an ability that’s not easy to acquire but needs constant application and practice. That is why I agree with Truman Capote’s thoughts about communication in his book Music for Chameleons where he says, “A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That's why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”
Organizations today are also emphasizing on the aspect of effective communication when recruiting people. According to Gartner Research, global interaction skills are the top priority skills for hiring employees in the future.
Advantages of Good Communication Skills
- Good communication skills are not limited to writing, reading or talking a language. Good communication is when person A can completely transfer his/her thoughts to person B
- Good communication skills help build strong relationships thus providing you with reducing friction and confrontations
- Communication skills make you attractive and interested by the other party
- Communication is a two way process. Along with speaking your thoughts it is important to be a good listener to the other party. Thus good communication helps in clarifying ideas and thoughts
- Trust between individuals and the organization is built when they understand each other and good communication helps in doing that
- Small shortfalls and follies can be accommodated if compensated by good communication
How to make your Communication Effective
To be able to communicate an idea or conversation brilliantly, here are two important principles to follow:
- Think before you speak – The old proverb stands true when you want to communicate well. Organize and arrange your thoughts. Break a complex thought into simpler, smaller bits before you launch into a conversation. It will allow your audience to easily absorb and grasp the details of your thoughts.
- Listen up, don’t just speak – Communication is not unidirectional. Listening attentively to what the other person has to say without interrupting is also an important attribute to communicating better. Also, don’t get lost in your own internal noise or start thinking up an effective reply but focus on what the other person says.
What will eventually make a lasting impression is your command of the language you communicate in. Beef up your vocabulary so that you don’t fall short of words at anytime and as Confucius rightly said, “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant.”
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