So we all know or have heard about communication. We even have books and training programs that teach us how to communicate. Some go the extra mile and give us tests and analyses. However, only a few speak of the art, which is communication.
Fun Fact: Much like any other activity we humans do, communication will always be flawed. Why? Because the interpretation of this message or bit of information can be perceived in hundreds of ways by the receiver unless clear and precise when sent by the origin or, in this case, the sender.
Take that deadly combination of human beings and flawed communication activity, mix it all up, and voila, cocktail for disaster! Ok, it is not that horrible. But, let us pay attention to the importance of being able to pass your idea as intended to your intended recipient exactly or at least approximately as you mean it to be.
Clarity in communication is the ability to effectively and accurately express thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a way that the listener quickly understands. It involves clear language, active listening, and a logical flow of ideas. It also involves being mindful of the needs and perspectives of the person you are communicating with. Clarity in communication can help improve relationships, foster understanding, and increase productivity.
Take out your notepads, and make notes! It is about to get as serious as you want it to be. Joke! However, take note as you read on a few essential pointers or tips that can help make communication more accessible and more transparent. It will give you and your audience clarity and understanding.
10 Key points for clarity in communication
1. Listen actively and be patient. Like in any scenario of 2 or more people conversing, you need to be mentally present. Physical presence alone has no value in this case.
2. Ask questions to ensure understanding. Nothing clears confusion better than asking questions. It helps get or give clarity.
3. Speak clearly and avoid using jargon. Nothing confuses people more than us using terminology that makes unsound and bright but defeats the purpose of communication. Simplify and speak. It's easier this way. And speaking with clarity allows the listener to understand the message.
4. Use simple language and avoid slang. This point reinforces the previous point. Keep it simple and short is one of the acronyms we all know of. But with different words. Imagine me saying that with no clarification. Confusion will surely follow.
5. Remove distractions and stay focused. Put cut down on the noise that hinders your communication. Allow yourself to pass on the message to the listener as though you were tossing them a hollow glass ball. The toss was a waste of time and effort if they couldn't catch it. If they see it. Mission accomplished, and that's the play.
6. Use body language to emphasise points. A proven study supports that what we see while communicating has a higher impact than the words we speak or how we articulate them. The visual impact or nonverbal element is pegged at 55%, the articulation impact at 38%, and the words we use stand at 7%, and shocked to see this. So was I when I learned this over a decade ago! Imagine I had to know the nonverbal elements and how to use them effectively! No wonder no one could understand me! Jokes aside, I learned this made a massive difference to the listener.
7. Repeat important information. This one is also known simply as paraphrasing. It helps you summarise what you heard. Now, this is not just parroting back words. It allows the sender to understand what you, the listener, have understood if you understand what I mean!
8. Avoid making assumptions. This is an add-on point from the previous one. Without clarification, any information sent is or can be deemed as an assumption. It shows that you have yet to use some last points to clarify what you heard.
9. Provide examples to illustrate points. A point that goes back hundreds of years. Storytelling is similar to this point. Illustration of information by drawings or models makes this a powerful tool in one's communication quiver! You can take your listener on an unforgettable journey as you speak. Just don't overdo it and leave them on Pluto!
10. Summarize the discussion. Here is a quick recap of what was said, heard, and understood!
In relationships, we need to be clear, concise, and understandable in an age where we get tons of information from all sorts of sources. Let’s keep the one from word of mouth as delightful to hear as a melody from a song. Giving and receiving information, especially between partners, becomes the relationship’s bedrock. That and a few others form pillars of that relationship, but that is a discussion for other articles. Keep communication lines open with your partner, spouse, siblings, parents, and friends. Talk it out and see the difference.
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