The Importance of Good Communication

November 6, 2016

We tend to listen or read about how important it is to maintain good communication, whether this is in our work, family, social, or romantic sphere of life. But are we clear on everything that comes with the communication process?

We do not always find precise words, the way to make ourselves understood, or to convey what we want to, including turning what we think or feel into words. This often is a big challenge for us. Sometimes we even think that it is not us, but the other party in the conversation who is building a barrier so that our message does not get across.

We are not aware of all the cogs that are part of our communication processes. We forget the importance of communicating clearly and simply with others, without thinking about the impact that our words and gestures can have.

We suppose, we take for granted, we create personal hypotheses about events or people, we read too much into things, we slander, we add or take away details pertaining to the information we received, etc. But what is our communication like?

We create realities through language

We are like sculptors who keep creating or destroying the information that comes from or to us, based on our characteristics, experiences, and peculiarities. We must keep in mind that we as human beings create realities through our language.

When a person tries to convey an image, feeling, concept, or idea, the listener probably does not receive this same message. Have you ever thought about it? The reason for most misunderstandings is people think they are speaking about the same thing, but their conception of it is actually completely different.

Couples who talk about love, but who have different visions of it. People who share a friendship, each identifying it with different characteristics. Have you ever thought that maybe when you are talking to or arguing with a person, you have different views or meanings about whatever it is you do not agree about?

In conversations with others, a word may be the same, but the content totally different. We must keep in mind what we say and how we do it to get a more precise image of our communication with others.

In the following video, we can get an idea of the importance of good communication through a nice little love story:

Asking instead of supposing

When we hold a conversation with another person, it is fundamental that we ask the other person what the topic at hand is or what it means for them.

What is love for you? What is a romantic relationship for you? What does being loyal or boring mean for you? What is happiness or sadness for you? And in the same way, we can also explain how we see it. Yet we just find ourselves taking it for granted that the other person shares our view of the world or thinks the same way we do. And this just happens to be by chance, right?

We would save ourselves a lot of fights and misunderstandings if, instead of supposing, asked the other person beforehand what they were referring to with their idea or proposal…

Each of us carries our education, experiences, training, personal traits on our backs. It is the lenses of our own glasses through which we feel, interpret, think, and act on the world. And each of us brings along a different model.

We communicate through stories

Why not think that what we are communicating is as if it were a story? What I convey to you, it is as if it were a story: the facts experienced from my perspective, a version, and what you understand is another version based on your traits. You listen to me, but you understand me based on your idiosyncrasies.

Or have you never realized that sometimes when we have told someone something and this person passed it on to another person, they do not convey the same thing that we did? Each person accentuates the important pats according to their experiences. This is why each person is responsible for passing on their own story.

When we say that the other person are wrong, what we are really expressing is that they do not think the same way that we do. Right? Think about it…