Communication combines so many things and being good at communicating is just a priceless skill that will help you in any kind of situation. I am very interested in self-development in general, and improving your communication skills has just such a high value. To me, communication is key to being human. Like how did we get so far? If we wouldn’t be able to communicate our thoughts we wouldn’t be where we are today. Sure every single human has a brain and can solve problems on their own, but together we are even stronger.
Also, I noticed that A LOT of problems are caused by bad communication, which means if you are good at it, many problems can be avoided. And not just at work, but in everyday life in every kind of situation. If you are interested in improving your communication skills follow DavidJPPhillips on YouTube or if you are willing to spend some money, check out his online JPUniversity. I highly recommend him!
Types of communication
Now that we have the introduction behind us, let’s think about what communication is and what types of communication exist. Communication at its core is basically an exchange of information. Not just we humans communicate animals do to of course.
Verbal communication is the one type that most think of as first. It’s talking, using your voice to communicate. It can be an in-person talk or a phone call and so on.
This post is a form of written communication or in the work environment, everybody is familiar with writing emails.
This is one of the most unconscious types and what I would assume most people don’t think about. It’s your body language, how you are standing, what you are doing with your hands, your facial expression, the tone of your voice, and much more. Now that I am writing this I am realizing that I am quite sensitive to this type of communication. For example, to me, it makes a very big difference in what tone you communicate with me.
Read my thoughts about public speaking
These are the 3 most important types of communication which basically we use every day. You might also think, wait a minute… Making a phone call is not the same as talking in person! You are right 😉 The difference is, when you make a phone call, you are not able to see the other person, which means a lot of signs that the other person can read are non-existent. Which means there is more room for misunderstandings.
That’s why it’s important to consciously choose the type of communication depending on what you have to communicate. One aspect that I also learned in communication is, the parts you don’t communicate are left up for interpretation to the listener. So, make sure to communicate the entire picture and not just a little piece of it. The other person doesn’t have the same picture as you have.
What I didn’t mention yet but what is also very very very important when communicating is listening! Actively listening and trying to draw the same picture in your head as the person speaking. In your work environment if you are in some kind of consulting position or you have direct contact with customers… LISTEN! Listen to them, try to fully understand what they are saying and you will see how much effect only that will have.
If you are interested in a specific aspect I didn’t write about, let me know in the comments and I can write about that 🙂
I agree, communication is such a fundamental part of being human. What do you think about majoring in Communication in college- worth it or not?
Well, I have a very strong opinion about universities… My experience and the stories I’ve heard from other people tell me that mostly it’s not worth it. But wait… That’s not my entire opinion. The thing is, if you are really interested in the topic, sure you will learn something in the university and usually it’s also a great time and great experience throughout your lifetime. Depending on what your end goal is, it makes sense or not. You should definitely do some research if you are interested in a communication college, that the topics match your interest. So, I am not against the university, but It should be your choice to go and you should really put the effort in and at the same time enjoy it. On the other hand, I also believe that if something interests you, there are a lot of other ways how to learn.
The tone we use is more important than what we say. Our tone of voice can make someone happy or sad, it can show them we are truthful or liars. I try to pay attention to the tone of voice I use when I say something, good or bad (especially bad). When I have to say something bad or unpleasant to someone, I try to use a calm voice and always talk about the problem and its solutions and not try to hurt someone’s feelings. I always ask myself “What is my aim here? What am I trying to do?”. The answer is not to hurt someone’s feelings but solve a problem.
This is a great thought and you are exactly right! And because you are not trying to hurt people, that message also arrives at the listener and they trust you more. What I also noticed is, that sensitive people and introverts are very often the better communicators. Because they how tone and certain words and formulations can feel like.