Society takes communication for granted. Period. Of all the skills we have/learn as human beings, no one gives enough credit to “communication” as the fundamental skill we possess as humans. I truly believe it is the #1 skill we all have.
Communication is the reason why conflict exists or doesn’t exist; why relationships, both personal or professional, are healthy and effective (or not); and why business gets done each day (efficiently or not). Really, communication is the reason why the world goes round (for the most part!).
People forget that just because you open your mouth, does not mean you are a good communicator.
This got me thinking…. if communication is the most fundamental skill we possess, then why do we take it for granted?
We do it everyday without having to think about the act of doing it.
We don’t look at communication as a skill like we do other skills such as decision making, negotiating or taking a course on leadership.
We take communication for granted simply because its easy and comes naturally to us. But just because it comes easily to us, does not mean we’re good at it. We can think whatever we want, but if we can’t articulate those thoughts in a way others can understand, then our thoughts are wasted. and we’ve been ineffective communicators.
Here are 5 reasons why communication shouldn’t be taken for granted:
- It is the main vehicle we use to shape our views and articulate who we are and our thoughts, to others. Through communication, others get to see who we are as people.
- Not everyone has the same communication style – everyone’s communication style is different and so, each person needs to adjust accordingly.
- As the age old saying goes, “Assuming makes an Ass out of You and Me!” You can’t assume anything when communicating but yet, we do. Hence, why conflict exists. We need to look at communication like a skill we have to work on each and everyday as we would in the same way we pay for expensive courses and training in skills like negotiating, leadership and decision making.
- Communication includes many platforms and these platforms impact how a person communicates. A person on social media may communicate ideas differently than someone who writes for a newspaper. We have to be cautious that different languages may be used based on what platform we’re using.
- Communication is not just verbal; it is all encompassing. It includes both verbal and non-verbal cues, body language being the most important. In fact, according to Psychology Today, body language accounts for 55% of communication, 38% is tone of voice and 7% is the actual words we say.