Chapter 1—About Communication
7th May 2015
How are you my dear friend? I hope you are fine. I am doing well too in school and with my family. I recently learnt something interesting in class about communication that I feel I need to share with you. People have always assumed that communication has no direction or rules; however, I noticed more is needed to be a good communicator and that is why some of our leaders can be remembered for being positive influencers.
Have you heard of communication competency? It is what captured my attention. According to the author, this term refers to the ability to communicate in ways that are appropriate and effective. Being an appropriate communicator involves adhering to the rules and norms guiding conversation in every social situation. For instance, if I say “hi,” you are expected to respond with a greeting, “hi,” before any saying other thing. Effective communication, on the other hand, refers to that interpersonal communication that achieve all aspired goals. If I need you to help me complete my homework, for instance, and manage to convince you to help me out with both parties feeling satisfied with the conversation, then I am an effective communicator. I hope now to get to understand the qualities of a competent communicator.
I also want to tell you that we learnt about different ways of how one can become a competent communicator. You are one of the best people I know have the characteristics needed; however, you might just need to know about them and even share with some of your classmates or friends overseas. There are 5 ways of improving competency; these include:
Developing self-awareness—According to the Floyd (2011), this also refers to self-monitoring. It requires one to always pay attention to what they say in every social situation. Developing this skill allows one to understand where their behaviors fit or do not fit in a particular setting. For instance, you cannot utter words such as “am happy” or “let us go have fun” to a friend who has just lost his or her loved ones.
Being adaptable—One should be able to adapt to every different situation by identifying what is appropriate for that setting. This is usually needed especially when addressing groups or individuals with different characteristics such as age, beliefs, gender, e.t.c. Speaking to fellow students can never be same as speaking to a board of school directors; if you are able to notice these differences and adapt, then you are a good communicator.
Developing empathy—According to the Floyd (2011), an empathetic communicator is that who is capable of understanding other people’s thoughts. Imagine if you were late with an assignment and tells the teacher to add you 5 days to accomplish it; if you are able to put yourself in the teacher’s shoes and fell how it could have been to add you five good days, then you will chose means of communication and tone that is persuasive to the situation.
Having cognitive complexity—this means that you should be able to understand others’ thoughts in multiple ways to avoid making wrong judgments or conclusions. If I were to assume you, instead of getting angry, you might consider understanding why I would act like that. Having such a skill promotes competency in communication.
Consider ethics—every person or society is guided by beliefs and norms. A competent communicator should, therefore, be able to judge whether the communication is morally right or wrong (Floyd, 2011). Forcing others or manipulation them, for instance, is a morally wrong communication technique.
The above five ways are important for everyone to become a competent communicator. I hope you enjoyed learning these new concepts. Finally, I would like to wish you the best in all your endeavors and studies. Always stay safe; I miss you!
Floyd, K. (2011). Interpersonal communication. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.