October 14, 2013
Communication is the transfer of information between a sender and a receiver. It is also the shared understanding of that information. Communication is very important in life. Mankind could not exist without it. Virginia Satir (1998) stated, “Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him.” Two types of communication are verbal (spoken or written) and non-verbal or demonstrative (body language, facial expressions, posture, voice tone). The skill of using both verbal and non-verbal communication in conversation can be a very challenging task for the sender and the receiver. Many barriers make this difficult for even the most experienced speakers.
The effectiveness or ineffectiveness of demonstrative communication depends on both the sender and receiver. If a teacher is presenting a lecture to her class and does not have eye contact with the students or just sits and reads from a book, she will be ineffective in getting her message through to them. That will have a negative effect on her student’s scores when tested on that subject. On the other hand, if she moves through the classroom making eye contact with her students, engaging them in the lecture with active voice tone and inflection, she will keep her students attentive and ultimately, see positive test scores. There are other examples of communication both verbal and nonverbal. A football coach witnesses a game winning play by one of his players and tells him he did an outstanding job, and slaps him on his back showing his approval. He demonstrated both verbal and nonverbal communication. The verbal was positively telling him he did an outstanding job, and the nonverbal was the slap on the back. Effective communication occurs when everything in the communication process goes according to plan. On the contrary, ineffective communication happens when that process gets interrupted. Whether communication is effective or ineffective, it requires the receiver to listen and respond to the message sent by the sender.
Listening and responding to a message is very important when communicating. How well they listen and respond directly affects the situation. If a coworker approaches another coworker with a problem, the receiver has to ensure that he listens attentively so he can evaluate the information. His response, whether verbal or non-verbal will show the sender how he feels about the situation. If he does not listen attentively, he could miss valuable information and jump to a quick conclusion or pass judgment unnecessarily. However, listening effectively could enhance the communication process, open more dialogue, and potentially assist in solving the problem. Everyone can learn the art of effective listening. An individual who is relaxed will be a more effective