2015 began with words: a war of words per se, a lack of words in reality, and words that just wouldn’t work. So many issues with words, words, words – all of which all boil down to communication.
There are two parts involved in communication – speaking and listening. Effective communication fully encompasses both of these aspects – listening to understand and not simply with an intention to reply and speaking in a way in which we are able to get our ideas and meanings across to others so that they will understand us.
Communication is of utmost and paramount importance. As a key aspect of my job, the ability to communicate effectively often determines the outcomes of learning and the behaviours of those around me on a daily basis. If expectations are clearly outlined, defined, and their importance is communicated concisely, it is often easier to fulfill those expectations. Being able to communicate reasoning and thinking is what deep learning is built upon.
Communication is also extremely important in our day-to-day living activities as well. As much as we have a tendency to not want to share our weaknesses, troubles, and difficulties with others, it is truly important to talk to others about these things because talking makes us feel less alone. Sometimes we stumble through life thinking that we are the only ones who have these tribulations – a difficult child, a conflict with a family member, money issues, or the like, but when we are brave enough to talk about these things to someone else we realize just the opposite. We are not the only ones who struggle in these ways. We are not the only ones who feel inadequate, hurt, or helpless. We are not the only ones to have gone through these things, and we will not be the only ones to ever go through these issues. When we communicate with others we realize that others can understand, can offer suggestions of what may have worked for them, or they can simply listen, which is perhaps a most essentially fulfilling part of communication as well – simply being heard.
When we finally feel like we are being heard, our load can be lightened. We can feel that someone finally sees what we are going through, hears our feelings in all their complexity, and understands how troubling this issue is to us, even if they cannot relate to it with personal experience. Being heard is being understood. Being understood is soothing to the soul.
It is also important to communicate about those positive aspects of our lives as well. When we can share our successes, our joys, even something funny with others, it allows us to connect on a different level. Sharing laughter is often the best medicine, can lift us up, and can keep us lifted up. It is essential to communicate about the good times as well because communicating the good allows it to stick in our minds longer. We remember the good times, but we also remember the wonderful feeling of talking about and reliving the good times as well.
When communication breaks down it is a terrible thing. When people stop communicating misunderstandings occur, misconceptions prevail, and misinterpretations abound. Communication must be reinstated in order to clear things up and to reinstate value back into relationships which are often damaged by inaccurate information or a lack thereof. It is when people stop talking that the real problems begin. Lines of communication must be kept open in order to discuss problems and issues as they occur. When a lack of communication results in concerns being swept under the rug, the only result will be that those concerns will continue to grow and someone is going to trip over that bulge under the rug!
Personally, the most successful and happiest points of my life have been when communication was at its best. When one truly feels that she can speak freely and is heard and understood, there is a feeling of contentment and of confidence. If the opposite is reality, then of course the opposite is true – discontentment and insecurity will prevail.
The best resolution we can make for 2015 and the most rewarding goal that we can set for ourselves is to strive to communicate clearly and effectively with one another. Ask questions when clarification is needed. Request a rewording when something is not clear. Listen with the intent to understand others and speak with the desire to have others understand you.
Communication is essential to our success as happy human beings. Isn’t that something we all strive towards?