Mastering The Art Of Communication is not hard but many people don’t make the effort to understand it. Why is this so? Is it because we want to make life harder for ourselves? I doubt it. Personally, I think it is a case of a little education (or too little).
Do people truly understand you when you communicate with them? Do they get upset and misunderstand the meaning you try to get across to them? Do you get caught up in email cross fire; firing back fast responses to someone that got hot under the collar and totally misinterpreted what you meant in your first email to them? Did you actually understand their response before replying back?
World War III has once again erupted via email…
Lack Of Communication Skills
This is common. It is called: Lack of Communication Skills. Why do we expect others to read our minds and know the entire picture – the one that is in your mind – without showing it to them? Just because one person has the picture in their minds eye, doesn’t mean that anyone else sees it. As a matter of fact, you are the only one in the entire world (or Universe) that sees that picture!
The world’s history is riddled with cultural and religious clashes, with millions of senseless loss of life over one thing: Lack Of Communication Skills. You could also call it: Refusal To Appreciate Other People’s Views.
I once read a profound statement by a well known Dog Breeder. He was asked if he wished his famous Border Collie could talk? His response was:
“No way! If dogs could talk, the human race would have exterminated them by now. We would have felt threatened by them and like any other species that threatens us, we bring them the the verge of extinction or wipe them out!“
Our lack of communication skills, lowers us to sub-human qualities; to those of animals that we do not class at “Intelligent Enough” to match it with the humans.
Mastering The Art Of Communication
The Art Of Communication is a tough one to master and is hardly a topic that is taught very well in our industrial age (outdated) School system. Modern society gets far too busy with everyday life… and less time is spent on attempting to understand other’s viewpoints and opinions. Why do people “fly off the handle” at an email? Has life been so bad to them that an email rage has to be declared on someone that can’t physically reach then at that point in time ( and give them a well deserved smack)? Is their ‘petty’ issue so important that all other issues (the REAL one’s that matter, like world disasters, disease, persecution and starvation) become tiny and obscure?
Let’s have a look at why people misunderstand an email – and even why people don’t totally get your picture over the phone.
The 3 Vital Pieces Of Communication
The Art Of Communication is made up primarily of 3 main areas. Take away one and you have a jumbled message. Combine all 3 and then you have a complete message.
- The Written Word – 17%
- Tone of Voice – 34%
- Body Language – 49%
I am discounting any 6th sense or abilities to “feel” the meaning of communication. For the purpose of this exercise, I will include only the parts that most people are comfortable with. The combination of all 3 (above) do generate a “feel” for the meaning that delivers a FULL Picture of the communicated word.
The Written Word – 17%
Only 17% of your communication skills are transferred through the written word. This includes letters, emails, newspapers, etc. How well do you really understand what was in that email? What mood was the author in? Angry? Happy? Loving? Depressed? Were the words said in anger or in jest? What was the body language? You may never know…
Tone Of Voice – 34%
When you hear someone over the phone or on the radio, you have the benefit of both the Written Word and Tone Of Voice, totaling 51% of the full meaning attempted to be transferred from one person to another through the Art Of Communication. But what is the speaker wearing? Is he or she naked? How tall is this person? Have they showered for the past 6 weeks? Are they disabled or an elite sportsperson? Do they “walk the talk” on the topic they are so passionately covering? You may never know!
Body Language – 49%
Your Body Language accounts for 49% of your communication skills. Being able to see a person talk, normally means you can hear the Tone Of Voice along with the Written Word (as it is spoken). Is the person speaking confident? Does he/she look you in the eyes? Do they look trustworthy? Are they picking their nose? Can you see how a deaf person can get more from a persons Body Language than you ever can from an email? Now, think about that for a moment…
Have You Lost Your Mind – Or Just A Few Senses?
Reading an email is like losing some of your senses. You do NOT have the full picture and don’t have the ability to make a complete evaluation of the TRUE meaning sent to you.
Think about that next time (if) you get hot under the collar when reading an email ;). A bit of understanding starts with knowing more about Mastering The Art Of Communication.
In a future article I will share the story of a famous debate that was simultaneously broadcast on Radio & TV. Candidate “A” won on Radio and Candidate “B” won on TV. How do you think that happened?
Until next time… communicate with me in the comments section 😉
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