This article is a part Communication Skills article published earlier.
Need for Communication
There are various needs for good communication. We need to communicate our thoughts and express ourselves to others. To communicate our feelings and let others know about us.
Business houses communicate with their employees by means of emails and meetings to make strategies and make announcements. No communication or poor communication leads to miscommunication and sour relationship in the long run. We need to communicate with our family and friends if the chain breaks they perceive it as negative and lose touch. Lack of communication can elevate problems and we can be misunderstood. Even our silence communicates.
When misunderstandings arise, a regular talk can sort out the problem.
Types of Communication
Verbal Communication – Verbal communication is through words either spoken or written.This type of communication occurs by means of words or language verbally. We talk to each other and communicate our views and opinions. We communicate our point of view and explain things by means of words. For effective communication, we need to take care of the pause, pace, voice modulation and language preferences. Communication is effective when the other person carries the same state of mind and is comfortable with the spoken language. Language differences can act as a barrier in effective communication. For example – If I am talking to an English man and I speak Hindi fluently but cannot communicate much in English, Communication cannot be effective. For communication to be effective we both need to understand each other and communicate by means of written words, sign language and non-verbally by expressions. Verbal communication has been discovered by human beings to communicate with one another by means of words.
NonVerbal Communication – NonVerbal communication comprises of Visual, Aural or Gestural. Visual communication is through charts, pictures, graphs, symbols. Bells, Whistles, horns, buzzers through which we communicate non-verbally. Such a communication is called Aural. Bells used in schools to communicate the start or end of a period. Sirens used in companies to communicate the change of shifts.
Gestural Communication – Communication through various parts of the human body or through body language is termed as gestural communication. For example – Saluting the national flag, nodding head or waving hand to say hello or goodbye.
We communicate nonverbally by means of gestures, postures, eye contact, facial expressions, body movements and our dressing. For example If I have to attend a marriage reception, I will be dressed in full makeup and heavy jewelry and my outfit matches the occasion and conveys the same to the audience. I cannot attend a formal meeting with my client or go to the office with heavy makeup as it will not match the occasion. Light cotton dresses are associated with the summer season, sweaters and jackets with winters, rain coats with the rainy season, so our dressing sense communicates a lot about us and our personality.
Thumbs Up communicates “ All the Best”. We shake hands for greetings, the firmness decides our confidence. Looking into the eyes of the person we are talking to conveys our interest and confidence but when we hide eye contact it shows a lack of confidence. A person with crossed legs and crossed arms give defensive gestures and is not ready to open with the outside world. While sitting with heads down expresses boredom. Looking here and there expresses a lack of confidence. Touching the chin shows we are about to take a decision. Clenched fist shows our anger. Nail biting again shows fear and lack of confidence. Clenched teeth show anger. A smile conveys happiness and tears convey about our sad mood. Nonverbal communication happens automatically when we convey a message and it is more powerful than verbal communication because only 35 % is communicated verbally and the rest 65 % is communicated nonverbally. We can understand whether a person is lying or speaking the truth by means of nonverbal communication. Spoken words will conflict the body language and the person will be caught.
These nonverbal gestures help a lot in knowing about a person and reading in between the lines when taking important business decisions or while dealing with a person.
I will cite an example here – Chief Technical Officer at VinayRas Infotech is great at reading nonverbal communication. One of my employees asked for 2 days leave on Saturday and then left. He predicted that the employee will not turn around before a week. I thought he was just joking and simply laughed. At the end of next week when the particular employee did not turn up, I went and asked Vinay as to how he predicted the future. He told me his body language spoke about it and he could read it. It sounds great so this example states the power of nonverbal communication.
Written communication is the best as we can maintain records and its tangible. We can refer to it when needed. Written communication can be in the form of emails or paper documents.
We can rely on it and use it when necessary. We prefer written communication when signing a treaty or any important documents as its a proof and can be referred to.
Formal communication happens in formal settings, informal gatherings at the office or in boardroom meetings when we need to maintain a certain decorum. We communicate formally with our seniors and top management. Here we communicate what is necessary and leave the rest.
Informal communication happens within friend circle and relatives where we can talk in a language we want to. There is no restriction of words, we can use shortcuts and nicknames while communicating. This happens when we sit down to discuss something with our friends or talk to each other. We can have fun while communicating as there are no formal barriers and we really enjoy this mode of communication as it is less serious and there are no bindings.