Most of us know the importance of having a good communication skill if we want to have a successful career and enjoy a harmonious interpersonal relationship with people. But it is quite another story for us to practice it appropriately in our daily life. In this paper we focus on some necessary steps of acquiring a good communication skill which includes how to reduce communication noise, non-verbal communication, and suggestions to practice communication skill properly. I shall first present a communication event at the beginning. This event happened in a clinic between a dentist and a patient. Due to the dentist’s good understanding of verbal communication, and well-acquired non-verbal communication technique, he finally succeed in persuading his patient to accept dental treatment. Details on the analysis and related communication theories based on the event will be discussed in later sections.
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Mr Smith was an experienced dentist. Many of his previously satisfied patients became his loyal customers due to his excellent medical skill and thoughtful service. One day, a man dragged a little girl into his clinic. The girl was about 7 years old. An anxious expression was wearing on her small tearstained face. Her frightened eyes told Smith that she did really scare of being taken to see a dentist and her stiffed body showed that she would never be willing to accept any dental treatments. The girl’s father was at a loss for what to do to coax his daughter to accept treatment. Mr Smith smiled at the girl and approached to her, spoke to the girl in a gentle tone “Darling, what makes you so scary?” “People hate dentist, so do I. Seeing a dentist hurts a lot”, the girl answered with tearful eyes. Mr Smith knew it clearly that many children can not endure dental treatment due to fear. But he is experienced enough to cope with such problem. He explained the process of treatment in details in a way that a child can understand in a mild tone. Mr Smith noticed that she has stopped shedding tears. He added “If you behaved well during the treatment, you can choose a small toy to reward yourself for your great courage.” Mr Smith smiled at her with a toy box waving in his hand. Thanks to the patience and kindness of Mr Smith, the girl finally accepted the treatment readily. Again he built a new good relationship with his patient.
When we consider why and how Mr Smith wins his patients’ trust and loyalty, it is obvious that his success is inseparable from his distinguished communication skills. For supporting my viewpoint I will analyze Mr Smith’s effective communication with related theories and authoritative opinions from authorities and books.
Communication noise is an obstacle blocks the way of receivers receive our messages. Communication noise includes mechanical noise, semantic noise and psychological noise. ‘Communication noise is something refers to have a profound impact on effective communication which influences the interpretation of conversations’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_noise December 2009). The basis of communication is the interaction between people. However the barriers built by communication noise prevent us from properly percepting others’ intentions during the interaction of a communication. How did Mr Smith deal with these noises? Firstly is the trouble brought by mechanical noise. ‘Mechanical noise is actual physical interference with the signal’ (Mohan et al. 1997, p. 7). In dentist Mr Smith’s clinic the main mechanical noise is the noise generated by the dental drill. As Mr Smith is a thoughtful man he offers a separated waiting room especially designed for his patients which decorated with lovely ornaments, so that the noise from the consulting room can be isolated. Thus, the quite environment made by Mr Smith can enable him to make a more effective communication with his patients. Secondly is the Semantic noise. ‘Semantic noise is the study of meaning.’ (Mohan et al. 1997, p. 7) For our receivers can understand our messages fully. We should choose words carefully. The words should be chosen within the understanding ability of receivers that is simple but concise to the point. We must take our receiver’s age, gender, religion, education, career, culture, and cognition into consideration. Carl Rogers, based on his experience as a psychotherapist, contends that the major barrier to interpersonal empathy ‘is our very natural tendency to judge, to evaluate, to approve (or disapprove) the statement of the other person or the other group’ (Nebell, 1991, P. 217) That is our interpretation of some words and phrases are tend to distort the meaning of the communication by nature. For avoiding distortion and misunderstanding, Mr Smith chose his words mainly according to his patient’s age. Mr Smith tried to use simple and short words to communicate with his little patient. We can infer that long and complex words can only confused the little girl. What is worse it may make her distorts the meaning. Since the girl has bias toward dental treatment. Mr Smith also avoided to describe the oral surgery in a professional way with terminology instead he use interesting and vivid analogy to let the girl understand that the surgery is good to her health and easy. Then on the basis of the girl’s cognition, he simply told what should the girl to do during the treatment. He use proper words wisely simplified the concept of “dental treatment” in her mind. Those words have made a great contribution to diminish the fear inside of the girl. Thirdly is the psychological noise. ‘Psychological noise is use of language or other communication symbols can set up emotional barriers between people.’ (Mohan et al. 1997, p. 7) Mr Smith judged according to a kid’s psychological interest and preference, he gave the little girl a small toy as a reward. In this way Mr Smith collapsed his patient’s emotional barriers. Moreover the lovely ornaments on the wall is also a kind of communication. They use their cute out-looking, vivid colors telling the patients that here is a warm cozy place. There’s nothing to be afraid of, thus calms nerves inside of the patients. In his little patient’s father’s eyes Mr Smith has offered her daughter considerate service. From the above analysis, we can reach to the conclusion that only when we minimize or reduce the three kind noise of mechanical noise, semantic noise and psychological noise, can we offer a clear access to send our messages to others and get matchable feedback from our receivers.
‘Non-verbal communication involves a transmission of information via sigh language, gestures, facial expression or other forms of body language.’ (Mohan et al. 1997 P. 7). Most people understand the importance of communication skills in the social life. But when they practice it, they usually neglect their facial expression, tone, body language in non-verbal communication unconsciously. As a mater of fact, one’s facial expression gestures and body language is really important, it can imply other’s his attitude. For express ourselves better, we need to lay emphasis on the way to achieve success in non-verbal communication. The following are some suggestions. First, putting yourself in other’s shoes is a good way to sense other’s feelings on the condition that you’ve been well observed other’s facial expression, gesture, tone and body language. Prophet Muhammad is related to have said that any one of us is not considered to be a believing person, until he/she does unto others what he/she wishes
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It goes without saying that communication is playing an important roll in keeping a good relationship with people and improving efficiency in our work. After all have been discussed, acquire a good communication skill is identified as you are able to put yourself into other’s shoes, to sense other’s feeling. To collapse the communication barriers which build by mechanical noise, semantic noise, psychological noise. What’s more, well used your facial expression, gesture, and body language will definitely enhance your chance of sending your message to your receiver correctly.
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