“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere”— Lee Iacocca
What does communication mean to you ?
“Communication is all about trying to get your perspective in your head with all the information that we have and all the things we are seeing and somehow trying to express that to somebody else”
We all know the importance of hard work and skill. Honestly, communication is more vital than either. It’s THE key to success, both in business and in life. Often our parents would drill us on the importance of hard work. Through determination and perseverance, they would tell us we could accomplish just about anything, provided we had the talent for it. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.
But just what is it that makes communication so important? Why is it that effective communicators always seem to go farther than people who can’t properly express themselves? There are a number of reasons, all interrelated to one another. Communication skills do make a whole world of difference in how you show up in the world and how satisfied you are with and in life. Everyday we communicate with other human beings around us.
The first myth to be cleared off is :
“Good communication does not mean knowing the English language!”
Many people have a misconception that if I’ve learnt English, I have also learnt to communicate! Sorry, now that’s not true. English is a ‘Language’ and communication is a ‘Skill’ ! Two very different things. Even after learning English, your communication can be pathetic cause when required you won’t be able to speak up! That’s the need of the moment when it’s not merely the language but the skill to communicate comes in picture. Hence
“Communication is an art that can be learnt and developed, whereas English is a language, that can be learnt!”
Now the problem is, a mistake that most people make. They learn words from dictionary, and they try to insert it wherever it is possible. Especially when they have to impress others, they search for immensely strange and critical words and use the in their sayings to demotivate others. We first need to develop the art of communication in our mother tongue.
Good communication is a “Differentiator”
Let us consider a situation wherein you and another person walk into an interview room with the same set of skills, from the same university and same set of professors taught you both. If person A is able to express his/her idea better than you can. Then, who is going to win the game? Obviously person A. There are many people who have great ideas, wonderful thoughts but are not able to express well enough. Hence good communication is usually termed to be “differentiator” which means “All things remaining equal communication skills can set you apart from other people.
Communication skills have a “Major impact”
Has someone’s word made you cry? Has someone’s words made you laugh? Has someone’s words made you emotional? Have those words made you think, motivate you, inspire you? Words have power! People vote for a certain candidate cause he/she was convincing, was able to deliver a good speech or was able to convince the crowd. We watch actor cause they are able to touch our emotions. You are able to laugh at a comedian’s joke cause they are able to connect to you and make your mind go to that state of humor and laughter. Communication skills can have a major “Impact”.
Wrong communications leads to downfall
Wrong and inaccurate communications can lead to disasters. Airplane crashes can happen when the pilot and the copilot are not able to communicate properly. Companies can go bankrupt if the leadership is not proper and people of different are not talking to each other. Homes can fall apart if there is wrong communication.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS ?
1. Train your brain
Try to train your brain on multiple fronts. Ask the following questions to yourself:
- Am I reading at the moment?
- Am I writing at the moment or on daily basis? (Not in the class and not notes, writing something else)
- Am I watching good communicators on social media?
- Am I listening to audios?
Since brain has so many ways to receive information then use all of them. Just like a muscle even communication can be developed.
2. Don’t expect spoon-feeding
If you work at communication you will get better. If you work at improving the art of converting your ideas into meaningful words you will succeed. There is a famous law, ie “The law of paying the price” which is not only applicable in the field of communication but rather in all the fields of life. This law states that ” If you want something, you must pay the price cause nothing is free.” Also in life’s improvement here, we are not talking about money.
3. Have good role models
It’s very essential to have good role models. Like whom do you wish to communicate? Often listening to news reporters, journalists, good politicians who know the art of communication. Try to see how a person is influencing the crowd. Learning this first and then the words to convey them is what develops this art in a person. In fact Harvard’s university research says that “Words are only 7% of the entire communication from one person to another” .
4. Step out of your comfort zone
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”— Friedrich Nietzsche
Often people have complaints that when they are talking to people at high authorities they are uncomfortable to communicate than when they communicate with their same leveled people.
The more you do it the more comfortable you get. The best way to achieve this confidence of communication is to place yourself in situations where you feel uncomfortable, and you will emerge victorious. If you restrict to step out from your comfort zone then you will receive only those things which you have been receiving since all these years – low self confidence.
5. Mastering the communication skills
Often when we see a good communicator or a good cook we say “Wow! She was born a chef/great communicator”. How ever we forget that nobody is born that way. We often see these people when they have already mastered their skills. Lets have a sneek peek into these four stages of development of any skill:
So what we view and appreciate is a person who has reached the stage 4 and gained mastery over the skill. What we fail to see is stage 1, stage 2, stage 3. If we wish to go to the path where our skill naturally flows then we have to go through the path where we get stuck again and again.
6. Provide early exposure or Immersion
Often we see that kids learn the language and start communicating effectively if they are exposed to it at an early stage. Most of the things leaarnt by them is through observation. Studies have shown that kids have a greater ability of ” immersion”. For example kids all over the world nowadays view a cartoon series called “Pepa Pig” as a result most of the kids at a very early stage speak in British accent. This actually provides loads of scope for us to imbibe the language and communication skill at a younger stage itself.
If one doesn’t have an early exposure he/she can still continue to master in the communication by “Immersion”. We all have something called “Neuroplasticity” in our brain. This means that regardless of our age we can learn anything. This depends on our ability to exert our brain in new directions. hence we need to prioritize our needs so that we can change our brain according to that.
Example : Jahanvi Pawar, also known as India’s Wonder girl, a 12 yr old girl from Haryana can speak in 8 different accents in English. and some foreign languages. Today she gives motivational talks to IAS officers, spoken at various forums and she has learnt all these skills by watching Youtube videos and practising.
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame , as being unwilling to learn.”Benjamin Franklin
Its rightly said “Life is a choice” , what we spend time on is exactly what happens in our lives. If we spend time on improving ourselves then no power in the world can stop us from achieving it.
7. Some Practical Tips
One definition of insanity is ” Do the same that you are doing as always, and every evening pray to lord to change your destiny!” But it does not happen in reality cause “Lord has not changed the circumstances of that person, who is not concerned to change his own circumstances!” Today if you are determined, in terms of improving your communication skills then you can definitely achieve the best in your life.
Always remember: “GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME”. Its not a one day process, but at the same time ensure to:
There is nothing more addictive than improvement. The more you improve yourself the more internal satisfaction and self confidence you will develop. No one was born perfect. It would take time to reach the level where you can that unconscious competence in your communication skill. But with your efforts, your persistence, and with patience you will achieve them. Remember patience is the key factor , don’t give up, Don’t let your limiting beliefs come in your way. Then you can not only improve your communication skill but any other aspect in your life.
And never give up on your efforts!!!