Friday, February 8, 2013

Improving Communication Skills 5,790


The art of mastering electronic communications in the 21st. century

All images courtesy "Google Images"
Special thanks to & A.G. Bell

 by Felicity Blaze Noodleman

This is an article dedicated to the follies of humankind. It is a celebration of our ability to fall flat on our faces without even trying.  Do you ever feel like you are walking up the down stair case, going in the out door or driving in the wrong direction, as we travel through life at times?  Do you feel you are spinning around in circles?  It’s almost a perverse act  of nature and we seem to be getting better, or worse at achieving it – whatever the case may be year by year. 

Are we progressing or regressing?

I was impressed by Wikipedia’s treatment on the subject of communication and will use their outline for the various aspects of communication in our daily lives.  Although I will not discuss every subject in this outline, I would encourage you to research their full article for further information.  Also; I have added some notations on the subjects to be covered and removed others for this article which follows:

1 Human communication

  •  Nonverbal communication
  •  Oral communication
  •  Business communication
  •  Written communication and its historical development
  •  Effective Communication
  •  Barriers to effective human communication

a)        Physical barriers

b)        System design

c)        Attitudinal barriers

d)        Ambiguity of words/phrases

e)        Individual linguistic ability

f)         Physiological barriers

g)        Presentation of information
2 Nonhuman communication
  •  Animal communication
  •  Plants and fungi
  •  Bacteria quorum sensing
3 Communication cycle
4 Communication noise
  •  Environmental noise
  •  Physiological-impairment noise
  •  Semantic noise
  •  Syntactical noise
  •  Organizational noise
  •  Cultural noise
  •  Psychological noise
 How we communicate - the different aspects in involved with our over all
ability to communicate with others .

Since the invention of the telegraph in 1837 by Samuel F.B. Morse and the introduction of the telephone by Alexander Gram Bell in 1876, an evolution in technology has made communication much faster and more sophisticated than ever and can enhance our ability to communicate.  The variety of tools can also be a distraction if improperly used.  I have created my own outline of problem areas we may experience in the twenty first century which follows below to facilitate our discussion:

All of the options for communications at times is confusing!

  • More ways to communicate than ever
  1. Phone – Cell VS Land line (Office – Home)
  2. Voice mail
  3. Phone Trees
  4. Email – Come-ons, Teasers and Span or Junk email
  5. Fax
  6. Text
  7. Face to face
  8. Meetings

  • Using technology to avoid communicating.
  • Meltdown.
  • Socially acceptable and unacceptable.
  • One ups man ship.
  • Planning to fail?
  1. Language.
  2. "Dog Failure"  Communications.

An example of using technology to avoid communicating.

Now; before I write another word, I have given you two brief and comprehensive outlines.  Although I’m a Blog writer, outlining is really how I prefer to write.  All of my articles have been outlined in advance of being written on the word processor.  In fact; I’ll bet you already know a lot more now that you’ve read these outlines and have formed your own insights to the issue at hand than you could have known by reading the long drawn out word by word essay on communications.  Now that’s what I really call communicating!

When your mom gave you a list of food items she wanted you to buy at the grocery store as a child, I’ll bet she gave you a list.  When you prepare to go to the office supply store and don’t want to forget why you are going, (if you are organized)  you might want to make a list.  An outline is very similar to listing.  As we begin to think about “effective communication”  we begin to explore faster methods of expressing our selves and ideas.

The remainder of this article will discuss improving our skills so that we may effectively use our communication tools and skills.

Cell phone (on the go) VS land line (in office or home)?  Voice mail and messages?  Phone-trees?  How do we merge all of the features of telephoning to become more efficient?  All of the features of the modern telephone at times can be stifling.  The key tip is reliability.  Most phone calls may involve retrieving documented information so make your call from a location where you will have the documentation near by to check the info.  

Try to plan your calls in advance by making a list of things you want to talk about and double or triple space your list, by doing this you will have room to make notes during your call.  Remember:  you will probably be switched to a "phone tree" and then be put on hold before you actually speak to the person who will be handling your call.  You may forget some things while you are trying to stay awake while you are in "Q"!  Always be sure to get that persons name whom which you have spoken with in your notes.

Email can accomplish much of our communications these days so try to set up an extensive list of email addresses because these addresses can be the business cards of the twenty-first century!

Cell Phones
Mobile calling can be very liberating but try to keep this option for the lighter calls you need to make.  Don't try to conduct complicated business while your on the move because you'll probably end up having to make the same call over on a land line to clarify issues you should have been taking notes on during the first call.  Try not to annoy others around you when calling.  You may feel important but in reality you can make such a jerk of your self!

Come-ons, Teasers and Span or Junk email are all part of the Internet and email these days.  I have found the need for more than one email address;  this helps me manage the different types of email I may be receiving. 

Try to keep your messages short and to the point.  Remember; your not writing a manifesto or Doctoral theses!  If your inquiry is to complicated then try to set up a phone conversation which is to follow your email.  The key is to keep your communications flowing smoothly saving time and trouble.

Texting can be much like email.  Usually done while your on the move.  Texting is a cheep substitute for a proper email.  Again; try to keep this option for lighter written communications.

Face to Face
This is the root of all our communication skill.  Improving our speech patterns can be the key here.  Speaking clearly and correctly will eliminate so many problems and misunderstandings.  People will respond much better and you will be received with more dignity and respect.  Try to increase your vocabulary because specific words can speed the comprehension of your ideas when speaking.  Don't let yourself get lost while speaking because you don't have a good word or phrase in mind while trying to express your self.  Remember;  your speaking habits will carry over into the other areas of communication.  The better you are able to express your self when speaking will improve your overall performance in life as a rule.

Preparation can assist us a great deal.  Weather we are just attending or have the responsibility of conducting  a meeting.  Be ready to take notes and ask questions where needed.  The secret to asking questions is not to ask too much.  Wait a moment; maybe someone else will ask about the very information you are in question about.  After the meeting review your notes and revise them if necessary to reinforce the information covered in the meeting.

"Dog Failure"  Communications

I'll bet you are really wondering what this is.  When I first heard of the concept I was so amused that I just had to pass it along because it happens more than we realize (also the original phrase was "Dog  s#1+ ", which is a bad four letter word).  "Dog Failure" communications occurs when two people are just not getting through to each other at all.  Both individuals are just not on the same page!.  It's as though they are speaking two entirely different languages.  If you find this happening to you ask for an explanation.  You might want to begin by saying, "sounds like Greek to me", could you be a little more specific - I'm just not following you at all.  Soon you both will be on the same page and your communications will be much more clearly understood.

 There is a time and place for everything.  Don't be a "noid"
with technology!

Our communication skill can make or break us.  One area I haven't touched on is what I like to call "the personal touch".  Always try to make people feel special when you are addressing them.  Not only with your speech but also with your body language.  The way people respond to what your saying will give you more gratification when well done.

Good and well developed communication skills save us more time and problems than we  realize.  There are many rules for effective communications.  In closing, two of the most important rules are:
  • Keep written communications long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep them interesting.
  • When speaking, try not to talk too much - Sometimes silence can be golden.  Above all;  It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than it is to open one's mouth and remove all doubt!
I'm Felicity for the Noodleman Group - A wise person always knows when enough has been said!

Remember when making cell phone calls - batteries have a short life
and need to be charged often and "minutes" need to be conserved!

* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

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