The Importance of Effective Communication

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Communication is one of the most important factors in our lives. It dictates the relationships formed with the individuals in personal and professional lives. Effective communication provides a foundation for trust and respect to grow. It also helps better understand a person and the context of the conversation. Individuals often believe that their communication skills are much better than what they actually are. Communication appears effortless; however, much of what two people discuss gets misunderstood, thus leading to conflicts and distress. To communicate effectively, one must understand the emotion behind the information being said. Knowing how to communicate effectively can improve relationships one has at home, work and in social affairs. Understanding communication skills such as; listening, non-verbal communication and managing stress can help better the relationships one has with others.
One of the main aspects in communicating is listening. An effective listener is one who, not only comprehends how the speaker feels but, also understands what they are stating. Building a strong connection between the speaker and the listener is one of the first steps to become a good listener. By building this connection speakers should first be in an environment with open minded listeners, it makes them feel more comfortable to state their opinions, feelings and ideas. Listeners should avoid being judgmental. The individual does not have to agree with the ideas, values or opinions of the speaker; however, to fully understand them, one must put aside their criticism. Speakers will believe that they can trust the listeners with their information when they know that they will not be judged. Miscommunication happens frequently, listene...

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...tention to how people react to one another’s comments, guessing the relationship between the people and guessing how each feels about what is being said. This can inform individuals to better understand the use of body language when conversing with other people. It is also important to take into account individual differences. Different cultures use different non-verbal gestures. Frequently, when observing these gestures alone the observer can get the wrong impression, for instance, the listener can subconsciously cross their arms. This does not mean that they are bored or annoyed with the speaker; it can be a gesture that they are comfortable with. Viewing gestures as a whole will prevent these misunderstandings. Non-verbal gestures are not only physical, for example; the tone of voice addressing a child will be different from the way it is addressed to an adult.
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