At home or overseas – Importance of communication skills
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”~ Lee Iacocca
“They don’t seem to fully understand me”
“Am I speaking a foreign language or something?”
“How come no body is listening to me?”
“Is it my accent that is limiting my range of communication?”
Your ability to communicate defines you as a person. You can be the most knowledgeable person around, but if you cannot share your ideas – if you cannot communicate – your knowledge may not mean much.
One of the main hurdles in adapting to a new place or becoming a part of the new culture is the difficulty of integrating into the new society. Our ability to effectively communicate with other is very important in adjusting to a new place, or a new culture. In fact, our success or failure in any walk of life often depends on how well we communicate with others. Any business, any workplace, any relation, any family, any society…..is built around communication.
In the basic sense, a communication takes place when two or more people share or exchange information, ideas, gossips, knowledge etc. The main ways of communications include:
Verbal or oral communications: This is where we talk and listen. The ideas are exchanged, the rumors are discussed, a mother sings a lullaby to the little one, a leader delivers her vision to the followers…..Most of our daily communications are oral, unless you are a writer hiding in the basement – writing away your ideas or fantasies, waiting to be discovered. The oral communication almost always involves personal contact with the audience, with some exceptions such as talking on the phone.
This is the area – the verbal exchange – where most of us struggle in a new place or in a new culture. The verbal communications are often different place-to-place, even if the same language is spoken. Every place has its own ways of communicating:
- local slang
- local style
- local dialect
- use of local terms that an outsider may not understand
Written Communications:Sending an email or text messages are the relatively newer ways of written communications. Writing a paper or publishing your ideas on a web site are other, more traditional, examples. With popularity of email and texting, the written communication is becoming popular again, but in different way – more like a conversation, than a formal writings of old days.
When adapting to a new place or culture, written communication is easier to get used to, if you have the knowledge of the language. For Indians, as we are used to writing in English back home in India, written communication is not as steep a hurdle as the verbal one – due to very different accent and informal style of verbal communicating.
Non-verbal Communications: “They said nothing to each other, but there eyes spoke volumes!” Yes, you can speak volumes through your body language. Your expressions can show if you like or dislike someone, if you are confused or just not paying attention.
Every culture has its own rules or habits of body language. Making an eye contact, meaningful hand gestures and a genuine smile – yes, smile – are main part of body-language in every culture.
To have good or effective communication skills is very important – both in a social circle, as well as at the work place. (Have I said it enough times!) The communication skills play a key role in our life in so many ways:
- Making a good first impression
- Expressing yourself clearly and concisely
- Attracting audience to your ideas and knowledge
- Making new friends
- Gaining confidence among your friends and peers
- Developing better relationships
- Negotiating for what you want at work or in social in life
- Listening better so that others feel understood and valued
- Having meaningful and entertaining conversations
- Minimizing confusion and vagueness
- Becoming popular – broaden your network of friends
- Building self-esteem
- Becoming more successful
Now there, repeating one last time – it is important to have effective communication skills. And, it is never too late to start anything, including improving your communications.
Related articles on English usage and grammar related tips:
- How to improve your communication skills
- 12 Self-help tips on improving desi English language
- The art of elocution
- 10 Tips on English pronunciation and accent improvement!
- A self-help guide to lose your accent!
- 30 tips on the art of small talk