• Baxter Lee

The Art of Communication - An Introduction

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

What is Communication?

What carries a lot of weight, weights 0 pounds, and can fit through your mouth? You might have guessed - words! That’s right. The words we use and the way we communicate make a difference and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Communication is doubly important for two reasons. The way you chat with others and the way you chat with yourself. Both have lasting effects and can make or break you. In these next few articles we’ll take a closer look at what communication is and why you should weigh those words.

The best way to understand communication is to grasp how much we all do it. Every single day since you’ve learned how to mumble communication has been at the forefront of every desire, ask, question, or query. In other words, communicating is an activity you have done before you even realized you were doing it. It earned you every good, bad, and ambiguous response. This emphasizes the scope of communication and how much it is ingrained in your life.

Communication is technically defined as “The imparting or exchanging of information or news.” Or, the act of conveying meaning. Communication typically occurs between two people, however, as mentioned earlier communication can occur between yourself. The steps of communication goes like this: some kind of stimulus happens and another person interprets that stimulus. One person talks, another person listens. One person shouts, another person apprehensively backs away. It’s a never ending cycle of cause and effect.

Why is Communication Important?

If all we understood about communication was the breadth and scope of the activity itself it would immediately be inferred it is important. In other words, the mere quantity of communication occurrences in our life indicates importance. Still in further words - we communicate a lot therefore it is important.

As if the mere quantity of communication occurrences were not enough to motivate us to take action, what is at jeopardy in the midst of miscommunication should do so. The author, George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” Or put more poetically by the author Khalil Gibran “Most of love is lost between what is said and not meant and meant and not said.” We are always at risk of being misunderstood.

This leads to a major daily dilemma and three part problem:

  1. We risk not communicating what we are really trying to convey.

  2. Even what we have said may not have been understood correctly.

  3. If the other person listening misinterprets what you’re communicating, you both risk having to ‘make up lost ground’. In other words retracing steps (words in this case).

What if You Could Communicate Perfectly?

The benefits of clear communication are gifts that keep on giving. While perfect communication is a pipe dream - it is the strive that makes all the difference. Solid communication skills make mariages thrive, friendships blossom, and are at the bedrock of any budding career. As if these weren’t important enough the communication skills you use with yourself largely defines your life. Your ‘self-talk’ to speak. All of these aspects will be explored in the articles to come.

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