If you want to communicate effectively, it is helpful to understand the numerous factors that go into this process as well as those that can influence how well communication actually occurs. You may think that communication is as simple as sending and receiving messages, but many other components and influences determine whether your message is understood.
What is Necessary for Effective Communication
Whoever is communicating the message, whether through verbal, written, visual, or non-verbal means, is the communicator. This person or group of people controls the message and the delivery methods. Among the many things that can affect communications and are influenced by the sender are the clarity, conciseness, credibility, and completeness of the message.
Creating a message that is understandable, addresses the intended audience, has a purpose, and is efficient are all part of what it means to be an excellent communicator. The ability of someone to language and other communication techniques to inform, persuade, or entertain others is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Delivering the RIGHT message is the most crucial thing in effective communication. Even the best communicators will fall flat when they are sending the wrong message.
We communication through so many different ways and choosing the right channel for your message will improve the chances that it is received and understood. Channels are the various vehicles we use to transmit our meaning, and among these are:
• Face-to-face communication
• Media like radio or television
• Social media
• Signs and symbols
• Text messages or instant messages
• Phone calls
• Videos or audio recordings
• Photographs, design elements, art, and architecture
• Body movements, gestures, facial expressions, and vocal tone
Choosing the right method of transmission will ensure that the people who need to see your message do and that the message is able to be understood. You would not, for instance, want to ask a personal question of someone on a public platform like Twitter or broadcast your grocery list over the radio. Many times, using the wrong method can make communication more difficult or lead to confusion.
The person or group that is meant to receive and benefit from your message is the audience. Understanding for whom your communication is intended, their motivations and needs, and how best to reach them is crucial. A perfect message will not be helpful if the audience is not listening or does not care what you have to say. Adjusting your message and method of sending it to your audience are all crucial for making your communication more effective.
Whether you are the communicator or the receiver, it is always especially vital that you are actively listening to the other members in your communication loop. If senders do not pay attention to listeners, they can miss essential feedback cues and information that can help them improve their message. If receivers are not listening to senders, then the entire purpose of communication is lost.
Our preconceived notions, personal biases, emotional states, past experiences, and prior knowledge all affect how we send and receive messages, as well. A group of people can all hear the same message but walk away with vastly different interpretations based on these factors, as well.
Understanding how these necessary parts work together can help you improve your skills at both sending and receiving messages. Communication is a vastly complex process that requires all parties to have knowledge and skills at both sending and receiving messages. Improving your skills can help you, though, in all aspects of your life.