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Understanding Communication: A Basic Skill that Everyone Needs to Know About

Communication: A Basic Skill that Everyone Needs

Communication is essential to survival in the world. It’s a process that is ever changing, just like the world around us. Communication goes further than words. It is symbolic. Our earliest ancestors had to learn how to communicate with each other in order to pass on vital information. If they weren’t able to communicate, how would we know not to eat the poisonous berries, or how to start fires?

Understanding communication is important for all human beings. The ability to communicate effectively can help improve all relationships, including those within a family. Communication is a basic skill that everyone needs to be constantly practicing.

There are three basic parts of communication:

    1. Interpersonal communication is the exchanging of information between two people. This is the most basic form of communication. Within this form the two participants exchange information on what they think, feel, need, want, or believe. Interpersonal communication can be broken up into two categories: direct and mediated. The direct form is face-to-face and can consist of non-verbal and/or verbal communication. Within direct interpersonal communication this is where people form their first impressions, and ideas about the other person. Mediated interpersonal communication is considered conversing through a filter. The filter could be any form of technology that allows you to alter the message of what you are saying.

    2. Intrapersonal communication, also referred to as imagined interactions, plays a big role in many people’s lives. Intrapersonal is internal within one’s mine. This is the “I feel” type of communication. Intrapersonal communication means communicating with oneself. This is the voice you hear inside your head, your conscience. So much of intrapersonal communication relies on what one perceives and is where our perceptions of the world are formed. Mental imagery plays a big role, especially in imagined interactions.

    3. Symbolism in communication is what makes us question things. We question things because there can be many meanings for one single image. For example the yellow light shown at a stoplight. Some may see yellow and think to speed up, while others see it as a cautionary warning to slow down. Symbolism can be abstract. Even the most basic questions can be broken down with double meanings. It’s important to remember that, meanings are in people, not words. In today’s world, words have become arbitrary as much as art can be at times. This new nature of words, art, and meanings, makes it all the more fascinating to try to understand the symbolic nature.

Understanding how to communicate is an important skill. Everyone knows how to communicate, but do they know how to do it well? This is something that everyone needs to know how to use in life. Take a look at talk-show hosts and what makes them so special? The way they communicate, and make people feel. Don’t let this skill go untapped. Explore your communicative skills.

Nonverbal Communication You Need to be Aware Of

Nonverbal Communication You Need to be Aware Of

Nonverbal Communication You Need to be Aware Of

Communicating with people can be challenging at times. Communicating with others involves more than just words. There are messages that can nonverbal or verbal. Most people aren’t even aware that they’re communicating a nonverbal message to others when having a conversation.

Being aware of nonverbal messages that you may be sending to those around you is important. It’s also wise to understand what others may be saying nonverbally as well. These kinds of silent messages can consist of several things:

  • Body Language – How a person moves and acts.
  • Facial Expressions – Eyes, mouth, and other facial features help express attitudes and even hidden feelings.
  • Posture – Slouching or standing straight can indicate a person’s level of attention and focus.
  • Eye Contact – Eye contact can help gage emotions, and some assimilate it the level of trustworthiness.
  • Gestures – Hand movements, and shoulder shrugs can convey messages.
  • Signs – Symbols, words, pictures.
  • Clothing – Sweatpants versus slacks contain different meanings within the appearance.
  • Tone of Voice – How one says “thank you” can mean the difference between being sincere or not.
  • Physical Space – How you set up your space can give people a perception of whether or not you’re open for conversations.

Being aware of all of this is helpful to you in all aspects of life. From relationships, to first encounters. Nonverbal communication is a powerful tool if used correctly. You’ll be perceived as more empathetic if your nonverbal skills improve. Lastly matching your nonverbal communication to what your verbal communication says will help increase people’s trust in you.

Understanding what you’re nonverbally communicating can help you in all aspects of your life. At work you can be more empathetic to co-workers that may not like you in their bubble. They could be trying to communicate with you nonverbally, and you just haven’t noticed it. The ability to notice nonverbal cues is a useful tool to have in your belt.