Thursday, August 6, 2015

Responsible Communication, That evokes interest and admiration 08-06

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Communication is presented to people as a great skill. It is not a skill at all. It is inborn, innate character trait.

Even dead bodies communicate.

Rigor Mortis is a process that communicates and confirms the death of a person and the end of chemical and biological processes connected with life. The doctor declares the patient clinically dead. But certain chemical and biological processes continue even after death. With the  Rigor Mortis process, the body communicates the end of its biological existence. You can see it happening, with the stiffening of muscles and the body.

If tomorrow, some self-styled communication expert tells you that, you are a dead body or an inanimate thing if you don't communicate, tell the person that even dead bodies and inanimate things communicate.

Yes, they do…

The deafening silence of the valley, the silent whisper of the breeze, the constant back and forth movement of the sea waves all communicate something or other. The philosophers interact with them, The poets see ideas in their communication for their poetic creation. The artists and the authors weave astory out of their communication.

The great Urdu poet Sahir Ludhyanvi also believed that these beautiful parts of nature also communicated. If you understand Urdu, you will understand his beautiful lyrics.

ये वादियाँ ये फ़िज़ाएं बुला रही हैं तुम्हे

खामोशियों की सदाएं बुला रही हैं तुम्हे

नदी की मस्त अदाएं बुला रही हैं तुम्हे 

खामोशियों की सदाएं बुला रही हैं तुम्हे


These valleys, This breeze is beaconing you.
The voices of silence are calling you.
The vivacious movements  of river are calling you.
The voices of silence are calling you.

Animals also communicate with one of their kind, they also communicate their fear or aggression, or empathy and compassion to other species of Animal kingdom.

Silence is a more effective communicator, than the spoken word. Dignified serene presence often outscores manufactured flamboyance. The syllable of silence is always more effective than the decibel of verbal communication.

An Audio-Video sync while communicating is good, but if your narrative and the actions are not in sync with your natural body language, your actions will be a distraction, and may even take away value from your discourse. And yes, nothing can beat the communications levels achieved when souls gets synched. Of course, it is more of an emotional activity, but your presence must be able to achieve that.

The effectiveness of your presence, depends on the way you are introduced to the audience . You should always write and give your presenter the introduction text, and request him to adhere to it. The prepared text should only speak about the  results & transformations, and as far as possible cut out on adjectives please...  

This does not mean that it is all a path of roses. There are reversals too sometimes. Once in a while, when you communicate and expect to be admired, you find yourself mired instead. This happens mostly because of the circumstances on that particular day and may be due to some factors not going your way. Believe me, this is a temporary lapse and certainly not a case of your communications going rogue. Keep your confidence, next event will be normal as usual. You will come out with flying colours.  

This long preface is just to stress the point that communication is not a skill, that is required to be imparted or learned imbibed. It is an inherent and ingrained character trait in every living being in some way or other. 

All you need to do is just tweak it a little, and customize it to your personal or professional need. And next time when you are attending a communication skills class, just remember that you getting what you already have. Only your already filled glass is getting filled to the brim. It is only an addition, not creation.

The gist of what I have written in this article is that the communication is too specific an attribute to be treated in a generic sense. To effectively and efficiently communicate, we need domain specific skills.

We need domain specific communication experts to impart domain specific skills. Responsible communication skills emanate only out of the underlying domain expertise.
We must evolve ourselves to a stage where the communication skills are re-segmented under technical skills, not just Soft Skills.

Even people aspiring for leadership, need a performance, that speaks, based on robust domain Knowledge.

Here the technical linguistics, work better than the language linguistics, and convey a more impactful message. Even a silent demonstration of work, results in better imbibing of skills by the trainees. This also results in better and more impactful sharing of knowledge and intellect.

I am not against the imparting of communication skills. I want it to be upgraded to technical perquisite for the trainees.

Finally, I do not want the communication skills to be identified with the language proficiency, ability to gesticulate, outwardly visible buoyance, a forced extrovert outlook.

I feel articulation is more important than gesticulation.

Sedate seriousness can deliver better than outwardly visible buoyance.

An introvert need not wear a mask of extrovert behavior to communicate better.

Don’t we have the need to redefine, what actually communication skills are?????

Now with this new found confidence, please read rest of the article.

Responsible Communication, that evokes interest and admiration

There are many areas to look at in communication: a message is communicated through visual, vocal and verbal means. From that, comes the importance of body language, how we present ourselves, and so on. The visual and vocal elements are indeed very important to effective communication, but we will not touch on that here.

Rather, let’s look at why many people experience a challenge in communicating effectively from the verbal aspect:

1. Self-consciousness.

It’s often our own self-consciousness that makes us tongue-tied and awkward. We are so pre-occupied with what intelligent idea to share next, that we can barely concentrate on listening to and understanding the other party.

Then a great truth is that, – to be a good conversationalist, we simply have to be a great listener. We have to be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say, ask the right questions (because we genuinely want to know more) and presto, people will laud us as great communicators!
2. Non-empathy

The other block to good communication is non-empathy. We are sometimes so intent on putting our ideas across that we forget to be sensitive or empathic to the other person. Is the person in a rush, or does he or she have other matters on his or her mind?

A good example is when we want to sell an idea to our boss: is he or she rushing for another meeting? Or perhaps he or she has just got some flak from his or her boss or a customer and is simply in a lousy mood.

3. Lack of clarity

This comes from a lack of clarity in our thoughts as well as our verbal communication. It starts from our thoughts: are we quite clear in our minds what is the message we wish to convey? From there, we move on to effective choice of words. Some people may have a language problem: they may be thinking in their mother language, say Mandarin or Punjabi, and trying to express their ideas in a language they are not comfortable with, say English.

Learn to organize your thoughts. Before making an important presentation, list down the points you want to make in a logical sense. If language is a challenge, then I suggest you write your ideas down in proper sentences and ask a friend to go through for you. I’m not saying you should read from your paper or memorize the “speech” but just writing it down and reading it a few times will help you a great deal in putting your message across.

Many people think as long as they speak fluently, they are good communicators. Not so, as those of you who have had to listen to someone go on and on about themselves, will testify. They may be such eloquent speakers, and even entertaining at times, but there’s only so much we can take in a one-way communication. I’m sure some of you have been in a situation where you just wish you were somewhere else after 20 minutes!

The highest level of communication which I personally would strive for as a communicator is what is known as persuasive communication. This takes place when the person we are communicating with, 1) understands what we want to say, 2) feels what we are feeling and is then 3) motivated to take action on what we have said. Effective communication may stop short at (2); the listener may not necessarily want to do something about what he or she has just heard.

One skill that can help you move from effective to persuasive communication is that of asking questions. This is a powerful skill that once you have mastered it, will indeed help you see immediate results in your daily communication – be it sales, presentation of ideas, talking to your friends or simply getting your child to do what you want.

Best Wishes,


Please also read my related articles

Understanding the Vocabulary of Silence


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