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The 6 secrets of effective communication

Thursday, November 30, 2017

We start communicating from the instant we take our first breath. Our first cry is a communication to our mother, and to the world, that we have arrived. And till our last breath, we are in constant communication.

Yet, good communication is much more than mere words. It is an art and effective communication has dimensions that are larger than what is spoken. The ability to communicate affectionately with one and all is a skill worth possessing.

Be Sensitive and Sensible
Communication is a dialogue not a monologue. We must respect the viewpoints of the person or persons we are communicating with. Communication is the art of being sensitive and sensible at the same time. Some people are too sensitive, thereby losing their sensibleness. Their speech lacks clarity and is inarticulate. And there are people who make perfect sense, but they are insensitive. They say the correct things, but they are not aware of the emotional response of the audience. We need that beautiful combination of sensitivity and sensibleness.

Your state of mind matters!
You cannot improve someone by getting angry at them. You only ruin your peace of mind. When you are angry nobody wants to hear you, even though you are saying the correct thing.

Your communication does not have the impact it ought to have had. Your mental state is heard by your listeners before the words. A calm state of mind, and a smile, will conquer the most difficult of people.

Humour coupled with care and concern
A good sense of humor relieves you from fear and anxiety.

Humor is not just about words- reading and repeating jokes. It is the lightness of your being that brings out the authentic humor. And this lightness comes up with taking life itself not too seriously, having a sense of belongingness with everybody (including those who are not friendly), practicing yoga and meditation, having unshakable faith in the Divine, being in the company of those who live in knowledge and are humorous.

Heart to Heart Communication
Almost all relationships break down due to too much talking and explaining about oneself. “I am this way. Don’t mistake me. Don’t misunderstand me.” If you keep silent when required, everything will work out much better. Don’t explain things of the past, brood over them, or ask for explanations. When the heart speaks and the heart listens, harmony is produced.

Real Communication is beyond Words
All of us have experienced at one time or the other, an amazing phenomenon. Whether in one-to-one communication, or in addressing a huge audience, something intangible moves people more than the words. We try to rationalize by attributing this to charm, charisma, presence, body language, etc.
If you are firmly established in the zone of silence, if your mind is calm, you will find yourself suddenly being able to influence individuals, groups, and masses.

Be a good listener
The single most important skill in the art of good communication is the skill of listening. Listening not just to words, but also to feelings and expressions. Observe infants. They listen to expressions and gestures. Even without understanding words, they communicate with you. Somewhere in the journey of life, we have lost this ability. Let’s make an attempt to regain it.

This world is varied, beyond our imagination. We need to establish communication on three levels – communication with oneself, communication with society, and communication with nature. There is always something to share, learn, and teach.

    — Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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