According to dictionary.com communication is "The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing or signs."
This definition tells us three things about communication. The first thing is that it is an interchange. Something is being imparted from one person to another or others. This shows that communication is between more than one person. It has to do with relating to others.
Of, is the second part of this definition. What is being interchanged? This is very important and can effect how it is received. It is important that what is being shared is understood clearly. Distinctions must be made as to what is fact and opinion. If opinions are spoken as facts and they are proven to be wrong then the person expresses them will lose credibility, because people will wonder what else was this person wrong about.
The third thing that this definition informs us is the mode through which thoughts, opinions, and speeches are made.
There is one thing that this definition does not address and that is getting to know people. It is important to find out as much as can be found out about those with whom one is trying to impart / interchange information with. Relationships make communication easier.
What is effective communication? Effective communication is a clear understanding of what is communicated between both parties. The heart of communication is intent. Others may not be able to see intent right away but over time intentions become clear.
Effective communication is important for everyone. We will always have to communicate with others. Communication can always be improved and it is important that we see how we can improve communication. The following are some ways that communication can be improved:
1. Be sure about what is being expressed: a thought, opinion, fact, story, lesson, question, concern, rebuke, etc.
2. What is the best mode of communication: a phone call, face to face talk, speech, e-mail, letter, etc.
3. Listen to the other party.
4. Pay close attention to what is said and left unsaid.
5. Become familiar with the body language of others.
6. Make sure that what you communicate is clear to whoever you are communicating with.
7. Learn from those who are skilled in areas that you need to improve in regards to Communicating.
Ephesians 4:29 encourages beneficial communication "Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them" (New Living Translation). Although this text specifically addresses verbal communication the principle applies to all forms of communication.
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