As technology and our world changes at a rapid rate – we are spending more & more time on devices and less time communicating face to face.
As a result we are loosing our communication skills. While we may not see this as majorly important, and it may well seem not to have been in our life at school, it is a whole different story for our life after School. Yes the internet is more prolific and certainly much of business and work can be done on the net. But there is much, much more that isn’t. So if you do not have good, No, superior communication skills for all types of communication, you will not survive the workplace.
This is not school and this is not the world you might be used to. Effective communication skills matter.
The pay off for you however is great. Some of the benefits are:
This is the longest module in this course, which by itself tells us how important it is. So take your time, make sure you understand all the principles. They are not difficult, but they will take practice to perfect. But let me say this:
Before we get into the numbers I want to give you an exercise. For some of us, the thought of actually speaking to someone is daunting. We have lived in our world of screens for so long we are uncomfortable speaking face to face. In fact we are so uneasy or nervous about it we can’t even look people in the eye as we pass them by for the fear of having to actually speak to them. So here is what I want you to do: As you pass people in the shopping mall or picture theatre, or where ever you are, instead of looking at the ground or away from the oncoming traffic, look people in the eye and just smile. That’s it, just do that until you get comfortable with it. ( please be a little smart about this and if your passing a group of thugs that look dangerous then perhaps just keep to yourself this time)
Now your a bit more comfortable in just looking at people in the eyes, try approaching some, with a smile on your face and just ask them the time! Something like this: Im so sorry to bother you but could please tell me the time? Pease don’t wear a watch or have your phone in full view or you might look a little silly 🙂
This is a simple exercise to show you in most cases it is absolutely fine and there will no negative repercussions. Sure the odd one might just ignore you, thats ok – perhaps they too are afraid of face to face contact! It is a great starting point to get used to communication with others and to get out of your comfort zone of the ‘electronic isolation’
The Albert Mehrabian communication model is widely used as how we communicate. He lays out the way and percentages of the three main skills. ( we will deal with electronic communications separately )
So why do tonality and body language have a greater impact in our communications?
They both stimulate emotion. Our neurons in our brain are stimulated, electrical connections are made, then translated to chemical signals and we have mindful and emotional connection.
Words don’t do that, which is why text and email can be easily misunderstood. There is no tonality, hence no mindful connection. The receiver has to decide that for themselves, then determine the context of the message. No wonder there is so much angst and misinterpretation in written communication.