Communication is something we all partake in ever since we are born. In every aspect of our lives, communication is right in front of our faces, and we rarely think of it. So, what exactly is communication? How do we know that we are communicating with each other? How do we understand what we are hearing?
Ok, take it easy; it is not that simple. As I said before, communication has always been present in our lives, but most people don’t even know the meaning of that action or use it properly. The definition of communication comes from the great Philosopher Aristotle; he said it was represented in three words: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
Ethos stands for who we are; it’s our credibility. Pathos means why we should care; it is your emotional connection. Logos is the logic, the types of channels I can use. With all this in mind, we can easily understand the fundamentals of communication: To communicate better, we have to make sure that there are no distractions between the sender and receiver. The message that we are delivering is clear and understandable, has no ambiguities, and is direct. If we are going to provide a statement, we have to think in the best possible way to do it; and by this, I mean the correct channels.
What are the most common communication paths?
There are five types of communication channels that can be represented in different ways, and you can see them in your daily life.
Facial expressions: they are the result of the coordinated contractions of over 40 facial muscles, ordered by specific signal combinations, in response to actual emotional experiences. Under these emotional expressions, you can see revealing a fleeting glimpse into a person’s true feelings.
Body language: made up of the behaviors and movements of the body other than the facial expressions. It includes head movements such as a nod or head shake to signal yes or no answers. Also can be understood as hand movements, posture changes, and many other gestures. Body language, dissimilar to facial expressions, is heavily influenced by culture and knowledge.
Voice: this is the dominant channel of communication. Includes the tone, volume, pitch, and speech speed and carries much communicative weight. You have to be careful with this communication form because it can have unwanted implications if it is not used correctly.
Verbal content: encompasses the actual words we speak or write. Some research can tell these methods have been primarily developed to assess the written word. These same techniques can be applied to create a more critical ear to spoken language in real-time conversation.
Vocal style: includes such elements as the amount of detail included in an account or changes an interruption of the flow of speech, speech pauses, or even changes in the structure of a sentence. It is the one that depends strictly on one person and can occur in many situations.
With these five channels of communication, you can run the world. Combine them and see how powerful they are together. Think about the impact that you want to have on your receiver and what kind of message you want to leave in that person.
After all this, you can join the marvelous field of strategic communication. Maybe you have heard about this in your company.
Like a chess play, always think about your next move. Strategic Communication refers to “the purposeful use of communication by an organization to fulfill its mission.” To make effective strategic communication, you have to keep in mind the following elements:
Open communication: what information you have to deliver?
Effective listening: understanding if they are receiving the message.
Discernment: how we perceive and judge the information that we are sending and receiving.
Dialogue: communication between two or more people that share a vision and emotionally you are attaching to that point of view.
After you apply these four elements, you will build a good relationship with communication. Remember, there are two types of communication. There is formal and informal communication. The important thing here is knowing how and when you can use each one of them.
Keep it Formal:
Formal communication is knowing that we have different levels of communication. For example, a report is in the lower level because it is not too personal. Instant messages are in a medium level of communication, and the higher level is conversations face to face because, in this type of contact, you can analyze body language. It will help you to understand better what you are trying to say.
Chill Out a Bit:
Informal communication is easier to understand because you will see it depending on the context and channel. Examples of this are in memos, impersonal notes, or social media. In this type of communication, the rule is to try to put yourself in your receiver’s shoes; thus, you can plan your speech and avoid sounding inappropriate.
If you combine these two types of communication, you will understand how most people share their ideas. Usually, we think that when we are communicating, we are saying some random things. But an effective strategic communication will make a difference in your company and your image. So try to make an accurate decision before speaking. A great way to do it is by asking questions. Make sure your questions are open and well based to create a dialogue between you and your receptor. If you ask closed questions, the answers will be monosyllables and will not get the kind of information you probably want to get.
The best way to communicate with your team members or clients is by implementing all these previous steps discussed in this article.
An element that is key here is persuasion. If you want to convince someone about your ideas, you have to persuade them till they agree. Persuasion can be seen as a bad technique if it seems forced, but an accurate way of doing it will make a huge difference.
The art of persuasion:
Yes, it’s an art because it’s like magic. Once you make people do what you want, all will feel like a fairy tale story. To do a useful persuasion, keep in mind these five tips for having persuasion by your side.
Make people like you: easy and straightforward; people don’t do business with people they don’t like.
Reciprocity: give and take. People need to know what you are sharing.
Social Proof: who is supporting that idea? If people see that your boss or teammates with credibility are supporting your thought, it will be decisive.
Consistency: if something works, then something good you did. Keep it like that.
Authority: who is supporting your idea or decision. Who is the expert? This works closely with social proof.
Fear: people value what they fear very much. Fear generates uncertainty, so try to have a sense of urgency.
Communication is a vast word that can be understood like many parts of a puzzle that can make a great piece. So remember to be authentic, honest, tell your story, give your audience feedback, give compliments, and remember that great leaders own their primary communication. Have the courage to take responsibility for the communication of your company. Remember that this is the public face that clients see, so it is better to take up the challenge and show the world how you are an example of good communication.
When speaking, think about the best way to deliver a message, the correct form of communicating bad or good news, or manage a crisis. Finally, think of who is the right person to assume the responsibility of communicating a message. Here at Venturit, we work very closely with our team members to close the gap between bad or good communication. So we hope that this article will help you understand this deep ocean and help you apply it to your workspace.
More Than Just Words: The 5 Channels of Communication. WJM Associates. Open link: https://www.wjmassoc.com/insight/5-channels-communication/
What is strategic communication? PB Pressbook. Open link: https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/stratcommwriting/chapter/what-is-strategic/