Art of communication is the language of soul

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. -Rollo May

Most people don’t know how to communicate. We share information, sometimes in very sophisticated ways, but we don’t really communicate. Real communication is a creative process. Human beings evolve only through interaction.

Every good friendship requires mutual respect and trust, and that mutual trust can grow only through effective communication. Effective communication is needed to build and maintain a healthy, solid foundation for a friendship. To communicate well, we need to know how to listen, build trust and deal with any issues that may cause tension.

Today’s leaders whether business leaders or say political, engage in a multitude of conversations during their daily activities such as formal presentations, email, texting, phone conversations, social networking, etc. No matter the medium by which the communication travels, an effective leader knows how to listen to and persuade others. Infact it is said that any of the problems that occur between two individuals or say in any organization are the direct result of people failing to communicate or communicating ineffectively.

Though effective communication is important, it is not the main objective. According to Mark Sanborn, a bestselling author and noted authority on leadership and team building, the objective is to achieve understanding. Sanborn believes that the word ‘communication’ is an amorphous term that is not adequately understood. Our goal is to foster understanding, and the primary tool to achieve understanding is effective communication. Effective communication allows people to properly exchange ideas.

Ways to communicate effectively

  • Learn to listen: During conversations with your friend or colleague, make sure that you are completely involved in the process. Make eye contact and use appropriate body language to show you hear what he/she is saying, such as an encouraging nod or a sympathetic shake of the head. Give your friend the opportunity to talk without interruption and when he or she has finished, reflect back what you have heard. This shows that you have really listened and value what he or she has to say.
  • Practice structured dialogue: Always aim to have the conversation for about 15 to 30 minutes, on a topic that inspires a verbal exchange of experiences, such as greatest passions or favourite food. Listen to what your friend has to say and confirm that you understand, then share your own experiences and emotions in relation to the topic. Using structured dialogue can really improve your relationship.
  • Try and back up words with actions: Telling your friend he can always count on you to be there for him means nothing unless you actually prove this to be the case. When friends know what to expect from each other, trust is easier to establish and preserve. For example, by telling your friend, ‘I will accompany you to your doctor,’ and then turning up every time he needs to visit the doctor, you are building trust. Your friend will know he can trust your words, because you have communicated it to him through your actions.
  • Face up to conflict: Arguments between friends can be healthy, provided they are dealt with in the right way. Bickering, getting defensive and avoiding the issue entirely are not healthy ways to deal with conflict. Talking about the problem with your friend is the only way to reach a resolution. If both of your concerns are addressed, the effective resolution of the conflict will strengthen your existing bond.

In our deepest, darkest moments, what really helps us is a proper communication. Sometimes a communication may be – ‘Help me.’ Sometimes it may be – ‘Thank you.’ An intimate connection will always get us through, because somewhere deep within we will know that our support, our help, is just a prayer away.

So don’t hesitate, just communicate. As Fyodor Dostoyevsky points out: Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.