Communication is one of the most vital components for establishing and sustaining both personal and professional relationships.  So, what exactly is it?

It is formally defined as the action or process of sending (talking, texting, emailing, mailing, transmitting codes/symbols, using body language) and receiving (listening, reading, decoding, discerning) messages and information.  To be an effective communicator, we must become competent with the sending and receiving aspects.

Sending can be compared to feeding.  When we send messages and information, we communicate facts as well as feelings, and it also includes body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and words.  Receiving can be compared to eating.  Whenever we open ourselves up to receive messages and information, we mentally (consciously), emotionally (passionately), and spiritually (subconsciously) ingest it.  Therefore, it’s critical to be cognizant of “what” and “how” we give/receive communication because words/messages are powerful, transformative, which impacts us and others.

3 Types of Sending

No communication- leads to speculation and assumption.  Individuals will fill in the blanks, make up stories, and fabricate facts in the absence of communication.

Limited communication- leads to vagueness and more questions.  People will ask how, what, when, where, why, and so on when sufficient details are not given.  We must share enough specifics to be clear in our messaging.

Miscommunication- leads to confusion, misinterpretation, and misunderstandings.  Whenever inaccurate information is given, people get confused and don’t comprehend what is shared.  This often results in disagreements, conflicts, and issues. We have to ensure that we provide accurate information when communicating.

3 Tips for Receiving

Listen with a clear, open mind- Try not to evaluate, judge.

Give your undivided attention- Avoid engaging in other activities while someone else is communicating.

Hear with your ear and with your heart- In essence, focus on what is being stated overtly, covertly- facts and underlying messages and discern the emotions/feeling behind what is being communicated.