“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Who can forget these lines from Martin Luther King’s iconic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech? These impactful words have transformed countless lives.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still, I’ll rise.”

These lines from Maya Angelou’s poetry Still I Rise still ignite hope.

When Dale Carnegie wrote, “To be interesting, be interested”, in his all-time bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, generations were influenced and inspired.

Do you know the magic ingredient that achieves such extraordinary results? It is communication.

What is communication?

The word sounds simple but has multiple layers to it. According to the dictionary, the definition of communication is “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior”.

In simple words, communication is a transfer of ideas, thoughts, or information from one person, group, or place to another.

Nature of Communication

Communication is an integral part of our society, culture, and relationships. Read on to know why it’s important in our everyday lives and how it helps better our bonding with people.

  • It is a two-way process:

Take the example of a company facing remuneration issues with its employees. This was affecting employee morale as well as the company’s productivity.

The company initiated an internal communication exercise through surveys, feedback, and discussions between managers and their teams. Soon the management was able to track and solve the employees’ issues, resulting in improved morale and productivity.

Communication is a two-way process. Knowing and understanding the other side’s perspective is crucial to it. Both parties have to be active while exchanging ideas or information. Effective two-way communication usually leads to a logical conclusion.

  • It creates mutual bonding:

Here’s another example. Sanjay has a designing job at a reputed advertising agency. He loves his job and looks forward to going to the office every day.

While he loved the core job, another thing that made him happy was the fact that his immediate boss was a great communicator. He encouraged creative freedom and appreciated out-of-the-box ideas.

Effective communication creates long-lasting mutual bonds between individuals, groups, and organizations.

  • It creates a strong influence:

Communication has a great influence on the human psyche. Do you know why biopics such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom, Dangal, and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story are super hits?

They are, of course, well-scripted, have soulful songs and superb performances. But the real reason is that these films strike a chord in your heart. They inspire you and add value to your life through constructive communication.

  • It is dynamic:

Communication is ever-evolving. You will find discussions with well-informed communicators enriching and constructive. That is why you share an excellent rapport with a certain colleague but are at a loss for words with another.

  • It is versatile:

In ancient days, stories from the epics were carved on temples in sculptures. The legends passed on from generation to generation through folklore.

Today, we are witnessing a historic global digital revolution. Work-from-home has become a buzzword. Everyone is attending meetings, reading posts or blogs, and learning new skills online.

There are various mediums of communication—words, symbols, sounds, visuals, and so on. Choose the medium of communication that is suitable for the purpose, audience, and the message of communication. You can learn more about the Purpose, Audience, Message, or the PAM Framework, in Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course.

  • It is diverse:

When meeting an old friend at a café, you usually begin the conversation with an informal, “So what’s up?”. But you begin a business letter with “Dear Sir/Ma’am”. During a corporate meeting, your body language speaks a lot about your confidence, and your presentation proves your competence.

There are various tools of communication. Some are verbal, some nonverbal, some are formal, while others are informal. Then there is interpersonal, business, or corporate communication. Every type of communication serves a specific purpose. Mastering these diverse communication tools makes you a more effective communicator.

  • It has continuity:

Communication flows continuously depending upon its content and context. Group discussions, coffee break conversations, counseling sessions, and question-answer sessions are examples of an ongoing cycle of communication.

Such an exchange of ideas or thoughts is rewarding for your personal as well as professional growth.

What is effective communication?

Visit the workplaces of your friends if you can and observe different work cultures. Think about the different offices you have worked at and visited. Some workplaces stand out for their efficient functioning and interpersonal synergy. Why so?

Look around, and you will see some small nuclear families in big trouble and some big joint families co-existing happily. Why so?

You may have guessed the reason already. It is communication. Effective communication is a balanced blend of emotion, facts, logic, rationality, and truth. It builds your strong presence, is persuasive, and fosters stronger relationships.

Some of the features of effective communication are:

  1. Comprehensiveness
  2. Accuracy
  3. Reliability
  4. Clarity
  5. Coherence
  6. Focus
  7. Emotional intelligence
  8. Empathy

“The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives,” said Tony Robbins, one of the world’s top life and business strategists.

Excellent communication skills lead to better opportunities in professional as well as personal life. Today, the importance of communication has increased phenomenally. Technology has increased the speed, accuracy, and sharpness of interpersonal as well as inter-group communication.

What’s the significance of communication?

  • For self-improvement:

Have you ever wondered how your favorite TV news anchors became so good at their job?

In addition to having the ability to handle pressure, they are masters at communication. The top news anchors are conversant with the latest news, information, views, global affairs, and current trends and they know how to strategically integrate all that in their communication.

Communication helps you improve your knowledge, work on your weaknesses, and hone new skills to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the world.

  • For leadership:

Some of the Fortune 100 Companies through the years such as CISCO, Hilton, Adobe, and Accenture share traits such as strategic leadership and authentic communication.

They say great leaders communicate and great communicators lead.

Effective communication is the compelling quality of a true leader. Such a leader wins the confidence of her employees and leaves an impact on their commitment and productivity.

  • For sharing ideas:

Suppose you have an idea which, according to you, can turn into a flourishing start-up. But if you keep it yourself, it will never be used. So how do you share it with the relevant people who can help you turn your idea into reality?

To transform a great idea into a fruitful venture, you need to communicate it to the right mentor or partners who will help you see it through. Effective transfer of ideas facilitates your progress.

  • For motivation:

Do you feel you are experiencing constant setbacks? Are you unable to meet your goals? Is your productivity suffering because of low morale?

If yes, it’s time you get a strong dose of motivation. Listen to how some people have risen from the ashes. Read a few impactful rags-to-riches stories.

Communication empowers you to rise and motivates you to follow your dreams and goals.

  • For interaction:

Let’s take another example. Anish is popular with his peers and his juniors look up to him. It’s all because he is an active listener and is open-minded.

In other words, Anish has excellent interpersonal interactions. And that is because he is a good communicator. Healthy communication ensures more acceptance and stronger bonding.

  • For an organization:

Remember that communication is the backbone of any organization. It defines the goals, vision, and values an organization will go forward with.

Maintain a positive environment and healthy communication with your partners and associates, and watch the magic work as your performance improves and productivity soars.

  • For decision-making:

Let’s look at this through the example of Rajesh who told the HR executive at his company that he had made up his mind to resign. However, the HR executive urged him to reconsider his decision.

Later, when he went to say goodbye to his manager, who offered him coffee and advice on his career move, he hesitated. The manager unraveled the pitfalls in Rajesh’s decision. He explained how Rajesh could learn new skills and expand his client portfolio in his current job.

He also appreciated Rajesh’s commitment to his work and told him that the company valued him. The manager finally said that the company would love to continue having him aboard. That was it. Rajesh withdrew his resignation.

Effective communication with the right people, at the right time, in the right manner, can influence decision-making.

So, talk to people, exchange ideas, get inputs, think comprehensively, and then take any decision.

Other benefits of effective communication:

  1. It builds trust
  2. It helps in problem-solving
  3. It provides clarity on concepts
  4. It strengthens team-building
  5. It helps overcome challenging situations
  6. It facilitates harmonious living
  7. It helps persuade and convince others

Final thoughts

Excellent communication skills pay rich dividends in all walks of life, including your career. You can become a great communicator by mastering the principle The Rule of Three which can make messages more effective and memorable. To learn more about the Rule Of Three framework, check out Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course.

But that’s not the only thing that can hone your overall communication skills. Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course also teaches you to use emotions and facts to communicate convincingly. It teaches you the techniques that can help you exhibit confidence and present ideas precisely.

With practice and guidance, you can surely master these skills. Harappa’s courses are poised to add quality to your communication skills so that you are able to avail of every opportunity that knocks on your door.

Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about skills related to the Communicate habit such as Interpersonal Skills and Writing Skills.