Monday, December 12, 2011

Say What?!

Communication is one of the key elements of any successful relationship; it doesn't matter whether it be a professional or personal relationship. However, the art of properly communicating is often taken for granted. Disagreements and arguments often come about because of the failure to understand the other party.

But what is communication? And how can we impart or share our thoughts and ideas to another person or party and ensure that it will be taken in its proper context.

Thanks to
Entrepreneurs need to communicate properly their vision for the companies to their employees. Managers need to talk with their staff to ensure that every one works harmoniously in a team.  Furthermore, good communication also makes sure that the customer is able to really understand and know the benefits they will get when they acquire your product or service.

Whenever I give talks, I usually define terms so that every one will be on the same page. Making sure that every one is on the same page is usually the best way to start things since this facilitates in understanding the things which will be said or shared.

For starters, let us define what communication is. Communication is the process or an act of imparting or sharing a thought, idea or opinion through the use of speech, writing or sign-language. In other words, communication may be done verbally or non-verbally.

From this definition alone, we can see and understand that we are communicating all the time. Whenever we share our opinion, our ideas or the benefits of our services we are essentially communicating.

We can also see that communication is also a process. Several key components are essential to make sure that what we want to impart or say are properly understood and received by the other party. The diagram below shows the different components of communication.
Thanks to

The sender imparts the message. She encodes the message to a medium that will be both understood by the her and the receiver of the message.

The medium is how you impart a message. It can be a face to face communication, through email, phone or twitter.

Then the receiver gets the message from the sender through the medium chosen by the latter. Once the message is received it is then decoded by the receiver. Decoding the message will be done according to the context that makes most sense to the receiver.

Once the receiver decodes the message, he will then give feedback to the sender.

If the sender and the receiver are encoding and decoding the message in the same context, there will be immediate understanding of the message and it will result in immediate feedback. However, if the sender and receiver are using different contexts to encode and decode the message, confusion or misunderstandings may crop up.

Noise also contributes to misunderstandings and confusion.

From the image above, it can be deduced that good communication must come from properly defining the terms and creating a simple and understandable message that can be understood by the receiver. It is also important that noise should be lessened.

I spent so much time talking about communication in this blog for several reasons.

1. Communication is essential for business-owners and entrepreneurs. You have to constantly talk with lots of different people at any given day. You will also be wearing different hats or persona. You can be a supplier to person A then be a customer to person B.

Effectively communicating with different people will give you an added advantage. You can easily adjust and adapt your words according to the situation and the context to whom you are speaking with.

2. Communication creates and provides a harmonious relationship within the work place. You can rally your staff and employees around your vision. You can sell them the future you are envisioning without sounding like a dictator who will ask his employees to do anything anytime.

3. Effective communication can get you places and let you meet people you haven't dreamed of meeting. Effective communicators can become speakers and are able to sell their own brand. People make a living out of their speeches. So if you think you are a good speaker or communicator and have something to tell others, this can be your path to fortune and fame.