Principles of effective communication

Norman Allen, a playwright, said: “A leader can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively.”


Communication is the first thing we learn as a child; but it becomes harder as we grow older. A wise person once said: It is not distance, but lack of communication, that keeps two people apart. The good news is that communication is a skill — like learning how to ride a bicycle or how to cook — communication can also be learned. You can become better at it with more practice.


Two misconceptions Most of us confuse good public speaking for good communication. Most of us think that the words we use convey the entire message in any communication.


Good communication is more than speaking. It is also about listening well, positive attitude, and who you are as a person. In his book, Silent Messages, Professor Albert Mehrabian of the University of California, found that there are 3 parts to communication between two people: (1) what is seen or the visual element – body language, posture, and smile; (2) what is heard first – the tone and pitch of voice; and (3) the actual words used. Any mismatch between these three parts confuses the receiver of the communication and he gets the wrong message. According to experts, words account for 7%, tone of voice for 38%, and body language for 55% of the liking of any communication.




Pay attention to body language, posture and smile
Even when we think we are not, we are actually communicating something. Communication starts with how you present yourself. How you have dressed, your grooming, your posture? Does your face radiate positivity or gloom? A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. Smile and greet people warmly with open arms. Your body language and attitude must show that you believe in the cause; and you are confident.


Develop a friendly tone of voice
Our tone and pitch of voice are powerful tools for communicating. People pay more attention to a friendly voice than to a dull monotonous voice. Do not shout, speak fast, mumble, or sound irritated. A friendly tone of voice lets people know that they can trust and rely upon you. Speak clearly and naturally.


Choose your words carefully
The words we speak can make or break a relationship. Mahatma Gandhi says that sometimes being silent is better than speaking bitter, angry words. There is an old Sufi saying: “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself: “Is it true?” At the second gate ask: “is it necessary?” And at the third gate, ask yourself: “Is it kind?”
Personal development
Being a good communicator means focusing on your personal development as a whole. You have to develop a positive
attitude. John Maxwell, leadership expert, says: “People may hear your words but they feel your attitude.”


Call to action
A communication message without a request to act is empty. Communication has to lead to action. Use your communication to arouse the audience to action. Only action will lead to the desired changes. Remember communication can be learned. Keep learning, develop yourself, and communicate about good health and positive
changes to your community members. Where there is a will there is a way.
Watch this video and learn how to become a effective communicator.