It's All about Communication

By: Tomas Tilver

This article is about COMMUNICATION, the most important of all subjects!

Whatever we do when we interact with other people, we communicate! It simply is not possible NOT to communicate to the people around us. Our body, voice, eyes, posture, smell, feel... everything about us send out messages! And the other way around; everything we note about the other persons is ourselves? receiving and interpreting messages from the other persons.

Communication can be deliberate or not. When we ask someone to give us a glass of water it is deliberate communication. The message is clear and simple, and can hardly be misunderstood: “Please give me a glass of water". But when we meet someone we dislike we usually send out unconscious signals about our dislike. This is generally noted by the other person, even if he/she does not understand completely WHY tey get a certain feeling. “I can’t help feeling that he did not like me. Was it something he said? No... I just got htat feeling..." That is our receptors unconsciously picking up the message unconsciously sent by the other guy!

Communication is a skill that can be practiced and learned.

Some of us have more talent and know the ways of communication by heart, while others just wonder what happened; “why did that conversation turn into a conflict?".

Communication is also different from one culture to another. How close you stand, if you nod your head for yes, how long you keep eye contact... all those details are examples of communication things that are different in different cultures.

All the time our body and soul send out signals about what we feel, like and think about the surroundings. One very interesting thing about communication is about the interpretation of the message at the receiving side. If person A communicates with person B it is quite common that the message person B interprets is not the same that person A meant to send out! We all carry “filters" built by expectations and earlier experiences. And those “filters" are not even known by us! So before you get angry or upset by something somebody said or did; just hold for a second and say: “maybe my filters distort the message? Did I really understand what the other person meant? Did the other person really, really mean to hurt or annoy me?". Quite often the other person did not at all want to hurt or annoy you, it was your own filters, your own interpretation of te message that messed up your communication!

The obvious first thing that comes to ones mind when the word communication is mentioned is SPOKEN LANGUAGE! Words coming out of mouths! But there is research showing that of the total message exchanged between two communicating persons words only make 7%. Seven %!!! The rest is more subtle ways of communication, like facial expression, tone of voice, talking speed, gestures, eye contact... So you can truthfully say that the important thing in a presentation is not WHAT you say, it is HOW you say it!

Still, most of us put almost all the effort on the words we are going to say. So most of us focus 90-95% of our effort on something that contributes by only 7% to the result! Speak about spoiled effort...

So, go out and practice communication! It is one of the most important skills you can learn in this life!

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