Mastering the Basics of Communication

Communication is a process to share information. To put it simply, information is sent from the encoder or sender to a decoder or receiver. There are many forms of communication but the 2 most prominent are verbal and non-verbal communication.

Verbal Communication

This form of communication will require language. It’s basically a system of arbitrary signals similar to gestures, voice sounds or even written symbols where it allows the person to communicate his or her feelings or thoughts.

Non-Verbal Communication

Unlike the first form of communication, this doesn’t need language in order to exchange thoughts. A very good example of this would be “silence”. In some context, silence may be enough in conveying its own meaning like the following:

  • Indifference
  • Reverence
  • Emotional coldness
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Rudeness and;
  • Humility

Silent communication can sometimes show more emotions compared to verbal communication. Other types of non-verbal communication are body language, gestures, symbols and signs.

In our day to day life, we do encounter different types of communication. Between parties, the content of communication may include acts that are declaring experiences and knowledge, giving commands and advice as well as asking questions. These acts might come in different forms similar to gestures, speech and writing. The form will depend on symbol system that is used.

Together, communication content as well as form can create messages that are then sent to its destination. The target could be oneself, a different entity like a group or corporation or simply another person.

What Impedes Communication?

Now, we need to know as well that there are certain challenges in communication which makes the receiver or sender express their feelings or thoughts ineffectively. But what are these?

Not being able to understand the language – both non-verbal and verbal messages are used in different languages. This consists of understanding idioms that are used by another group or subculture. One person might greet another person in a totally different manner and if both can’t understand each, it could cause a rift in their communication.

Failing to understand the context – not being able to understand or know the history of relationship, culture or occasion can make the true intent of the message seen in a different perspective.

Obfuscation – this is the intentional delivery of confusing or obscure message.

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