People often think communication just happens but we need skills for good communication to be effective.
The ways we communicate our feelings, thoughts, and ideas are very important in ensuring that we achieve our aims.
The exchange of information between a sender and a receiver through a medium or channel, which is followed by feedback (response) that shows understanding or lack of it.
Why do we communicate?
- To share information
- To give directions or instructions
- We communicate to ask for help
- To let others know our ideas, opinions, feelings or thou
Types of Communication
Communication is an important aspect of life. There are two ways in which we can communicate to get a message across
Non-Verbal Communication i.e. when someone does not speak but uses various expressions or body language to pass on the message.
Examples are Frowning, Eye contact, Facial expression, and Foot tapping, Smiling, Writing notes letters, etc.
Verbal ways by which one can communicate include;
- Telling stories
Elements of Communication
- Message: This is the content of the information that is transmitted
- Source/Sender: The person who sends a message
- Channel: The path was chosen for transmitting the message
- Receiver: The person who gets the message
- Effect: The impact of the message on the receiver
- Feedback: The response gotten from the receiver because of the message passed by the sender/source.
Benefits of Good Communication
- Improves relationships with friends and family members
- Someone to understand Increases the ability
- Enhances respect between listener and speaker
- Permits the speaker to assess whether the message was received and understood.
I say communication is effective when it produces the desired result as exhibited by the receipt of feedback from the receiver to the source/sender.
Barriers to Effective Communication
- Use of confusing words/language
- Talking too fast or too slow
- The message is not interesting to the receiver
- They distract the receiver at the time the message is passant
- Language barrier
- The message is too long
- Physical disability
- Non-conducive atmosphere
- Not listening
- Yelling or talking
- Negative nonverbal messages i.e. frowning, rolling one’s eyes.
- Getting angry
Making Communication Effective
- Regularly practice the following
- Listening skills (Assure the sender you are listening by nodding, smiling, and using other non-verbal signs, make frequent eye contact, Respect the opinion of the other person)
- Organizational skills (Be brief and straight to the point, Neither be slow nor fast while talking)
- Use of non-verbal signs to complement (Nodding, gesticulating, and other non-distractive non-verbal cues)
Ways of Encouraging Good Communication
- Listening well
- Letting the other person know you are listening by making encouraging gestures (signs) such as nodding, smiling.
- Making frequent eye contact
- Choosing a good time to talk
- Empathizing with how the other person feels
- Offering solutions
- Making sure you understand the speaker
- Saying how you feel using phrases like “I feel annoyed ..” or “I feel disappointed when….” Rather than saying words like “you annoy me” or “you disappointed me”
- Repeating what the speaker is saying
- Clarifying what has been said
Read Also: Concept of Peer Education
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