The development of communication
Communication has been defined into innumerable principles and practices over the years. Types of communication have also been isolated, their values and ideologies studied as single entities to create different schools of thoughts such as verbal communication further narrowed into communication in business or public speaking and the likes, visual communication dissected into areas such as communication by use of different media or arts, design, advertising, and other areas like communication in politics, religion, etc.
A few points remain constant in all of these areas of focus: one, that communication is indeed an exchange of ideas through mediums between one or more entities in an attempt to gratify a certain level of understanding; two, that communication is vital in organizing and maintaining proper governance in humanity; three, everyone communicates, even the physically challenged; four, the world simply cannot exist without communication otherwise, there would be chaos; five, no matter how different our means of communication are, there are still interactions within the process and certain levels of understanding are reached thereafter - whether the understanding is to the benefit of anyone communicating or not. Regardless if they resolve to reach a compromise of not settling who is right or wrong at least a truce or a compromise was reached.
Since the development of communication as an academic discipline, it has become an integral part of the society and is taught in all levels - the aim of which, of course, is to arm the students with knowledge on how to effectively convey their thoughts, shaping what could have been primitive actions or instinctive reactions towards on-goings in a man's life into a well defined, society approved and accepted norms.
In their book, Listening: Language Teaching, a scheme for teacher education, Anderson and Lynch (1988) enumerated the processes by which a person possibly acquires skills in communication. In Linear process, it is believed that children begin to communicate by learning basic skills such as speaking and listening before they move along to more advanced skills that involves reading and writing. The Integrative process on the other hand suggests that these skills are simultaneously absorbed by humans because any miseducation of one factor can be detrimental to the over all development of the child whereas the Comprehension process insists that listening is the primary source of any linguistic experience.
Such idea goes to say that people who have the privilege of receiving proper education on communication may involve learned techniques in honing their total person. The manner they speak and react to certain situations will then be bound by certain rules. Their manner of absorbing data will become adherent to a defined process thus their actions are cultured and often based on an acceptable balance between what is rational and emotional.
The basis of how one succeeds in this highly globalized world where everyone is expected to have excellent communication skills and is adept with multimedia practices is always subject to debate. After all, a person communicates in the hope of achieving survival at the very least- ultimately the proper use of communication does suggest that people who have penchant for expressions whether verbal or non-verbal could survive longer and reach farther.
This works aim is to prove or disprove that communication and an effective one at that - is essential in becoming a whole person, capable of speaking correctly, and emanating grace of speech and actions, thus affecting a person's whole circumstances in his present and perhaps his future success.
The writer used very basic means of acquiring data for this paper. Information was gathered from conventional and online books, including articles and other essays. Some important data were lifted and taken into account and due reference was given to the materials used.
The paper is delimited to defining what communication is, the process that are involved in communication and how each process when studied can be beneficial to a person in becoming more eloquent and effective in communicating, consequently being successful in one's ventures. Its intention is to correlate the proper communication skills to one's sound and total personality development.
The writer employed various techniques in processing the information acquired to arrive at a conclusion such as hypothesis testing by observation and practical use, regression or simple analysis by forming opinions and convictions based on previously studied data.
It is imperative that we clearly characterize what is considered to be a sound personality. While it can be decided that a judgment on what is sound is truly subjective there are some indications of commonality among many available descriptions as to what is acceptable behavior in communication. According to Smith, Smith and Christopher (2007), the 'good' is essentially the ultimate goal of existence despite many cultural differences. These three experts studied subjects who came from different cultures and were able to point definite behaviors which people often respond to as good and these were benevolence - defined as the inherent ability of a person to consider the good rather than the bad; conformity - which is the ability of a person to respect standards and the authorities which define the standards; and traditionalism - is a person's leaning towards what is cultured and common.
Honesty appears to be a common measure of what good is for a man. Any one who is able to be truthful to him self and others is often considered good. It is said that personality is a result of practice. The inherent energies of a person are controlled and converted to what is considerably positive and are used to influence many others to do the same. Link (1945). This just means that the nature of man in itself is inborn, but with education and exposure to social interaction, a man's behavior could easily be re-aligned based on what the society deems acceptable.
Substantially speaking, a person of 'good' character is righteous and mindful of his being during social interactions. Every theory in personality development aims just that - for an individual to achieve heightened awareness of his words and behavior to avoid divergence from any unit of the society. The manner with which he communicates is very scholarly and follows the models that communication as an academic discipline indicates because only in careful practice of these disciplines can conflicts be avoided or resolved.
Communication is taught early on life. The very moment a child speaks his first word is an indication that he is communicating. Even the moment an infant responds to mother's touch is a form of non-verbal communication. Deaf and mutes also have ways to communicated aside from the well-structured sign language or Braille system we know now. By mere moving his or her limbs to indicate a need for something, the deaf or mute including the blind, only wants to communicate so that his or her needs could be addressed. Culture also plays an important role in developing a child and his communication skills. It is said in one study that children who have less interaction with other people grow up to be more inclined to violence. (Katz, Lazarsfield, & Roper 2006)
There are several models of communication introduced in the academe. The most familiar model indicates that a message whether in verbal or non verbal form is transferred from the sender to the receiver through a medium. And the process takes place in a split second and the exchange can be between many individuals at a time. These exchanges of signals are already social interactions. Communication does not have to be in the form of sounded words or speech. It encompasses all activities that has messages or idea being imparted - whether it is a silent advertisement appealing to certain demographics. As long as there is an exchange which results in awareness, knowledge, change in behavior, invitation of a reaction, or a shift in emotions, it is considered communication. Mefalopulos (2008).
Finnegan (2002) cited dynamic and interactive - this are what effective communication is. There are mutually recognizable experiences in both parties communicating and these are taken into account. Listening plays the most significant part in the process of communication, without which, the receiver might misconstrue the message and there will be a failure or a gap within the process. This is where most conflicts begin. According to Wolvin and Coaxley (1993) the process of listening is an ongoing process within the process of communication as a person listening continues to communication by absorbing the message and giving feedback thereafter while the initial receiver becomes the listener. The importance of listening cannot be said enough, because any gap in the model might impair valuable personal relationships, that is why there is a need for effectual communication all the time. Mefalopulos (2008). The goal of communication is to bridge gaps - build trust, explore available options, reach an agreement or compromise, sustain associations amongst humans. Nicotera (1993) considers the forging of interpersonal relationships as the whole point in existence and these could only be sustained by communication.
Context listening is called for at times when barriers to communication seem louder than the message being conveyed. It is a developed skill in communication where ideas, instead of word per word signs are processed.
Considering that there might be factors inhibiting the proper transmittance of messages between a sender and a receiver (vice versa), the need for skillful listening is all the more crucial, because any differences or mishaps in interpretation defeat the purpose of communicating. Even communication done in writing should be closely monitored. According to Donaghue (2008), it is inevitable to impart a localized idea while translating a written work. The differences in language and the variance by which idioms are used in sentence construction could cause dramatic changes in the original meaning.
If all ideas would be taken into merit, the study would suggest that a person who has succeeded in developing his character is expected to communicate well - involving all principles of honesty and level headedness in the process. And in lieu of affectivity in speech and all forms of communication - a well-developed individual is adept in using and recognizing verbal and non verbal forms of communication and uses these skills to his advantage. He is also a good listener. He is capable of restraining himself whenever somebody is speaking and he listens intently for cues when proper timing is at hand to deliver what he needs to say. A good person will not knowingly use his intellect or abilities to communicate or use language to cause clashes. Mayor (1990).
According to Levelt (1993), an effective conversationalist is one that respects and receives respect from the people he interacts with. He carefully considers the rights, potentials, partialities and mind-set of other parties.
Although verbal communication is the most obvious form, you can either hear or see or feel this, non verbal communication is by far, the most important in selling the ideas on an emotional and personal level. As with infants who cannot communicate and rely mostly on the sense of touch, the mere sight of a smile from another person can engage happy feelings from it. What plays significantly in these times are non verbal languages such as a soothing touch, a tickling kiss or a reassuring hug from a caretaker. Key (1980).
Companies all over the world require people to have excellent communication skills. This, of course means that applicants are expected to be knowledgeable in expressing themselves whether in writing or speaking. However, there is an underlying requirement behind what is explicitly written on the job requirements - the person must effectively communicate in all areas of his professional being.
In a society that requires interdependencies, it is impossible to seek understanding without properly conveying what is necessary. Feedbacking is also central in the groundwork of communication. The receiver of the message then processes the information and reacts. It is a never ending circle that is complete reliant in the art of listening. Without which, the chain would be broken and the whole essence of communicating would collapse. Listening is different from hearing. Hearing is merely using auditory organs to absorb stimuli, it does not imply what so ever that the stimuli were actually processed in the brain to create an understanding or catapult enough reaction to further the conversation. Barriers such as external noise, personal biases and other external factors are definitely considered when communications falter. It is impossible to enumerate truly effective formulas in listening. A fool proof way is to really concentrate.
More advanced listeners are able to multi task when conversing in public, where messages could be running across another and they simply take into accounts words that can easily be understood in context. When used accordingly, communication can either make or break a person. With the wrong choices of words, a person could find himself inevitably trapped in mayhem, one that he may not be able to resolve. Supposing that he attempts to, the person needs to involve an even more complicated and heightened level of skill to manage the situation. Like in cases where cultural diversities are involved, one person may get offended by hearing the word nigger while the other isn't. This suggests that effective communicators are able to sense non verbal indicators within his environment. He chooses his words carefully rather than submit himself into conflict.
Non verbal messages must also be taken into careful consideration. In fact, any content in this form should be examined closely because there are non verbal messages that are not even close to what the verbal message means. A person who is keen on observing silent messages like these can sense sincerity from another.
Communication is crucial to survival. The very reason that children are taught to communicate as early as possible remains true when they are set to challenge the grown-up world - they need to impart their needs and feelings in whatever means in order to get what they want or to at least get the semblance of their initial goal. Imagine a life without communication - it would be as though no one exists.
In conclusion, communication as an academic discipline is the most important aspect in education. The ways by which people are taught are also the goal as to why they are molded into being. A human as the highest form of animal also has the most intricate manner of communicating and to dispel this gift which separates humanity from the rest of the world's creatures is like surrendering to being just another animal. People communicate to learn and after learning ways to effectively communicate they employ these skills to achieve a higher level of satisfaction in their lives.
People who cannot read nor write, is not a person of holistic communication abilities regardless if he is able to speak. The world today requires that people could at least read and write so they could find a decent job. And supposing that these people who can read and write were taught in educational institutions, it is safe to suggest that they were also exposed to various cultures. These interactions give humans ammunition in times when they have to regress to make sound decisions in their lives. A true understanding of the workings of the communication model would a low a person to step back from saying things that he doesn't mean - draw the line between what he feels and what he thinks.
The people being described above are people who earn respect from others because they listen well and speak well. They are hired by companies for their people skills and not just for their ability to write business letters or speak to an audience.
Communication fosters education and development of the whole person, so that humans can deviate from their instincts and allow reason to prevail.
Individuals trained in communication can express themselves without groping for words, but they are wary of what they say. They are clear on what they mean and do not mislead people knowingly because as educated individuals they do not use their intellects to gain power over another or to take advantage. They are able to speak their minds concisely and they know how to read non verbal messages so that their words are in accordance to what the other person might feel - thus trust if built and confidences forged.
Communication plays a vital role in beginning and maintaining relationships. It is the basis for out education, profession, social interaction and existence. So, anyone who has a keen knowledge on expressing oneself is basically more marketable than folks who have mediocre abilities.
In this regard, the writer would like to suggest that follow up studies on non verbal communication be done with focus on how these are employed within the household, school or workplace. It is highly significant to pursue studies on the matter so that people could marry all the ideas within the context of effective communication with non verbal cues - this as a whole - will prevent misconceptions and misinterpretations. It is also necessary to study ways on how to bridge gaps in communication. While the ultimate goal of communicating is to foster interaction, there are inevitable circumstances that could hamper the transmission of messages from one entity to another. How do people resolve such conflicts? What advices can experts give to control these situations and prevent its recurrence? These are the obvious questions that must be addressed in order to meet the standards of resolving common conflicting situations concerning the interactive communication. In lieu of personality development with the use of communication, studies must also be conducted on what behaviors are generally accepted in the society and how these could be honed in an individual. This is vital to understanding what defines a good behavior and what isn't at least in the general point of view. In cases where behaviors are considered unorthodox, are the people involved judged for their behavior or for their communication skills? For instance, does the professional world lean towards college graduates who have mediocre communication skills than non-college graduates who for some unfortunate circumstances cannot pursue education but has impeccable skills? These are just among some of the issues that need to be addressed in terms of judging people's behaviour and their skills such as in communication. This also has implication on employment and other aspects where an individual's communication skill also matters.
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