The Basics of Effective Communication
Communication is the act of transmitting, sharing, or exchanging information, either from individual to individual, one person to a group, or between a group of people.
There are different types of communication which include verbal communication (spoken words), non-verbal communication (physical expression or use of body language), written communication (use of letters, signs, and symbols), and visual communication (the use of visuals like images, videos, etc.).
The essential elements of communication are the sender, the message, the channel, the receiver, the environment, and the context of the message.
In every communication process, there must be a sender and a receiver of the information. Meanwhile, if there is no understanding of the message, the information can only be collected as data that can be regarded by the receiver as mere noise or useless data. This brings us to the context of effective communication.
What is Effective Communication?
Effective communication, therefore, is the process of exchanging information (messages) in a way that is understood with clarity at both ends of the information relay. An effective communication is simply a communication process that meets its objectives.
Why Does Effective Communication Matter
The aim and goal of communication are to pass information that the receiver can assimilate. If the information does not reach the receiver, then it has not been transmitted. If the information reaches the receiver without a proper understanding of the message, then the communication is ineffective.
Effective communication is the key to success in any endeavor. Whether you are trying to communicate with your boss, co-workers, or customers, you need to be able to do so in a way that is clear, concise, and effective. Failure to deliver a message properly can lead to failure in relationships, interviews, business, and profession.
There are several laws of effective communication that you should keep in mind to ensure that you can communicate effectively. In this article, we will go over 12 of the most important laws of effective communication.
By following these laws, you will be well on your way to becoming a master communicator
Below are the basic laws of effective communication you must know in order to enhance your day-to-day conversations
1. The law of constant communication:
One of the best ways to communicate effectively is to communicate as often as possible. Constant communication does not only make the communication active, it builds trust within the communicators, and also shows the level of seriousness in the conversation.
Constant communication is one of the most important keys to building effective relationships with others. It enhances understanding of the message. It can also act as a reminder of the previously passed message and reiterate the point of emphasis message.
2. The law of respect:
To communicate effectively, you must first respect yourself and others.
Disrespecting the person, you are communicating with can disrupt the communication or change the meaning of the message. Disrespect can also affect the listening process thereby altering the effectiveness of the sent message.
Communicating with respect attracts attention from the receiver or listener thereby making communication effective.
Respect in communication means knowing your boundaries, what to say, and what not to say. Communicating beyond the context and boundary can alter a good information flow.
3. The law of understanding:
Try to see things from the other person's perspective and understand their needs before communicating your own. Without a proper understanding of your audience, a message can be miscommunicated. Therefore, you need to know your audience and send the message or feedback in a way that passes the information properly.
Even when someone sends a bad message, do not just interpret the message as it is; apply emotional intelligence while communicating with others. When there is understanding, the communication can flow and read meaning at both ends.
Understanding your audience and making them understand your message is one of the main aims of communication.
4. The law of listening:
We often only hear what we want to hear, so truly listen to what the other person is saying to understand them better. Hearing and listening are two different words.
Hearing simply meaning the process of perceiving sounds, tone, or noise through our sense organs, this time, the ears. Listening, on the other hand, is the process of paying attention to the sound, and interpreting it through a thoughtful process.
This means that unlike hearing which is just about perceiving stimuli through the hears, listening is a cognitive activity that involves our consciousness, thinking, and a lot of intellectual work.
After speaking or sending a message, always listen to the other person’s feedback irrespective of how busy, distracted, or annoyed you are. Communication is a double-end flow of information. Failure to listen to the other person completely disrupts the flow of the message. Listening also helps one to know if the other person understands the message.
Communication can only be effective when one listens to the message. If there is a distraction that takes one’s attention from the message, there cannot be effective communication.
5. The law of honest communication:
The best way to maintain effective communication is, to be honest with yourself and others.
Some messages require trust for them to be effective. Once you are a dishonest person, your message may not be respected or well communicated.
An honest message has more effect and a dishonest message may be taken for granted thereby altering communication effectiveness.
6. The law of clear message:
Make sure your messages are clear, concise, and easy to understand. Use the language your listener can understand. Without clear and simple language, communication cannot be effective.
The language used, for instance, is not just about speaking the same language but understandably presenting the language.
There is no need to use big grammar when you are trying to pass a vital message unless in a registry or professional communication. You can summarize your information to meet the aim.
The truth is that your listener may not have a chance to listen to a hydra-headed story or to find an interpreter to communicate your message properly.
Any form of ambiguity during communication means no communication.
7. The law of response:
Always respond to communication, even if it is just to say that you received the message.
Failure to respond to messages gives a bad impression to the sender or the speaker. It either means that the message has not been received or that you have deliberately ignored the message which may be misinterpreted as a disregard for the sender.
Continuously refusing to respond to messages can disrupt effective communication, even alter your relationship or affect your social life. To communicate effectively, this law says you must always give a response, especially, when it is necessary.
8. The law of feedback:
Give feedback often to ensure that the communication is effective and on track. The difference between responding to communication and giving feedback is that response can just be a short message like “message received”, “noted”, “I’ll get back to you” or a simple expression of approval.
Feedback means replying to the communicated message accordingly. Short responses without feedback can also alter effective communication.
9. The law of non-verbal communication:
While communicating, remember that body language, tone, and facial expressions can often say more than words. People can interpret your message and treat it based on your bodily expression while passing such messages.
To communicate effectively, always ensure that your body language which is just an aspect of non-verbal communication corresponds with the message you are passing. If the message is an appreciation, they express joy, if it is an order, communicate seriousness on your face and attitude.
10. The law of visuals:
Applying visual communication helps so much in passing information faster. People understand and remember what they see over what they hear. You can use images, flow charts, diagrams, videos, or any visual item to back up your words.
While speaking to your audience, using visuals enhances effective communication. Meanwhile, while using visuals, ensure that your visuals are compelling and communicate exactly the information you intended to pass on within the context of the discussion.
The wrong use of visuals, can as well cause distraction and disrupt a good communication process.
11. The law of completeness or adequacy:
Communication can only be effective when the message is complete and adequate. While trying to be precise, try to avoid inappropriate omissions.
This does not also mean that you need to exaggerate the message. Messages are well assimilated when there is an emphasis on important points of communication. This law requires that you pass a complete message that is adequate for one to understand.
12. The law of timely communication:
This law of communication is concerned with the proper time to communicate. This is very important when passing vital messages. The time of sending a message can affect communication either positively or negatively. Know when to communicate certain messages and when to hold on.