Effective communication has always been a challenge to many individuals. In fact, several scholars and psychologists are still grappling with the issue of successful passage of information from one point to another. Communication challenges are mainly due to the differences that common with age and social structure. Individuals of same age and/ or those who belong to social classes tend to have their own unique way of communicating.
Even within learning institutions where students receive lectures from a similar tutor, it is not surprising to witness disparities in levels of communication weaknesses and strategies in dealing with them. In light of the above revelation, I find that the challenges I face in effort to communicate effectively are not tied to me alone. I will use this opportunity to explain the challenges I face in trying to communicate effectively and further identify ways through which these challenges can be resolved.
My Perceived weaknesses in Communication
Communication tasks such as taking position in front of the class to explain something to classmates is an agonizing ordeal for me. This is often due to the fact that anxiety levels rise and the information is lost within the state of confusion. According to existing literature, the perceived personal weaknesses in communication are usually precipitated by a number of factors. To begin with, it’s seen that, lack of clarity in personal communication attempts often denies the audience the correct interpretation of words spoken. In my case I think that precision and clarity as critical elements of communication were not fully incorporated in communication.
This is complicated by the fact that there is lack of confidence in my attempts to communicate. This has been cited by scholars as a major barrier to verbal communication. It plays a role of denying a speaker self-worth and prevents one from being assertive in communication processes. Some studies have associated the perceived weakness at effective communication with excessive generalizations. This, as stated, often undermines one’s own clarity and credibility and therefore creates polarization between the speaker and the audience. Another common perceived weakness is jumping to conclusions without substantiating the reasons for the various assertions.
Tactics to overcome them
However, despite these weaknesses to effective communication, helpful tactics can be integrated into the communication process to improve on communication skills. The basic understanding is that effective communication demands a multi-dimensional approach to achieve the intended objectives. By taking cognizance of what is clearly known, the delivery of information starts from a strong background in the basic tenets of knowledge.
In addition, the development of personal emotional intelligence forms an integral part in the process of effective communication. According to Ellis (179) “the development of emotional intelligence forms the best strategy in responding to other people who may have a negative response during the communication process.”
In addition to the above, focus on the issue as opposed to the persons enables one to not only avoid taking things personally, but also express opinions in regards to the job at hand. It is this tactic that gives one the power to solve specific problems and successfully pass specific message as opposed to attempting to control people. This reinforces the aspects of being genuine rather than manipulative and instils better levels of honesty and integrity.
Consistency also remains an effective tactic in communication. Being consistent attracts the audience into the contents of the message. A speaker must be consistent between verbal and non-verbal cues to convince the audience (Bocus 120). An example of lack of consistency between verbal and non-verbal cues involves a speaker expressing a grave issue while at the same time grinning. The listener may fail to determine the levels of seriousness of such as case.
It is discerned that despite perceived weaknesses in communication that deter effective communication amongst people, the application of effective tactics has the capacity to overcome the weaknesses. The tactics include communicating information on what is best known, developing emotional intelligence, focussing on the message, and being consistent. I will strive to apply the above strategies in order to effectively tackle the perceived challenges I face in communication.
Bocus, Roger. Barriers to Effective Communication. New York: Wiley. 1998. Print.
Ellis, Dave. Becoming A Master Student. Boston: Houghton Miffin. 2009. Print.