Communication is the essence of life. Every day, millions of messages are sent and received both verbally and nonverbally. Whether it is the president making a speech, a billboard promoting a product or a professor lecturing to a class, communication has the power to shape and change culture, society and the lives of individuals. Communication is simply conveying information to another person in a way they fully understand. Ineffective communication can lead to confusion, frustration and low morale.
The function of effective communication is to accurately relay a particular message in such a way that the listener understands. Communication is used to inform, correct, share emotions and educate. If communication is ineffective it has the power to hurt, confuse and misinform the listener. The function of effective communication can be best seen in the business world. If a company is able to effectively communicate with its workers, they will feel empowered, informed and appreciated.
Types of Communication
The two types of communication are verbal and nonverbal. Verbal communication is the oral use of words to send a message. Nonverbal communications are messages that are sent and received without the use of words. For example, if you say, “I love you,” and then kiss your spouse, the words are verbal and the action of the kiss is the nonverbal communication. Other examples of nonverbal communication are gestures, vocal tone, eye contact and facial expressions. In interpersonal relationships the role verbal and nonverbal communication play are crucial. Interpersonal relationships require intentional messages that will be easily understood.
Effects of Communication
The effects of successful communication are understanding, education, empowerment and respect. Effective communication provides people with information they need to become educated and enlightened. When people feel like they are in the know, they are motivated to perform at their best level of productivity and performance. The role communication plays can have a positive or negative effect. For example, in politics if a politician doesn't explain himself clearly, there can be a lot of room for misinterpretation.
An example of communication that can be both effective and ineffective is a lie. If a person tells a lie and pulls it off (effectively), the reaction and decisions made based on the lie can affect other people's lives (to bad effect). The outcome of one lie can tighten company policy, lead to mistrust among co-workers or the collapse of a major organization, such as Enron.
Misconceptions About Communication
The primary misconception about effective communication is that it is simply saying what a person feels. Simply expressing ideas, thoughts and emotions does not make communication effective. Communication can only be considered effective when the listener accurately understands the message the individual is attempting to send. It is both the sending and receiving that matter.
Benefits of Effective Communication
The benefits of effective communication are successful business, rich relationships and the ability to accurately and comprehensively express thoughts, feelings and ideas. Effective communication allows corporate policy to be easily understood, husbands and wives to develop intimacy and employees to know the common mission and goal. Effective communication is at the foundation of every successful action. A great example of how the role of effective communication benefits people in an interpersonal relationship is marriage. A marriage in which there is effective communication fosters love, trust and respect.