Recently I got a chance to attend a workshop on effective communication, really an important and helpful subject for all of us especially for those who want to live. Every creature on this earth communicates in his/her own way, own language, own actions. Few creatures communicate through tunes, whistles and aroma or by making noise, weeping and laughing. So there is n-number of ways to communicate. But one thing is sure that there are two or more participants/persons/creatures involved in to complete the process of communication. Praying to God involves the devotee and the God airing a program through TV or Radio involves program creators and the audience. In short where ever communication happens there are two ends can be visible and/or non visible, can be only receptive or reactive or receptive-cum-reactive.
But the emphasis in our workshop was on effective communication. Do we mean what we communicate in our daily life is not effective. The answer is no, but surely we lack some fineness which we can learn from such workshops or by reading sum sort of relevant material. Reading these days, when our time schedule is so tight, does not seem to be good option unless one is so disciplined that he or she keeps reading at least thirty minutes a day on a subject of some utility. Reading is otherwise good for updating oneself and to keep abreast with recent developments. Thus the easiest solution to the problem of up gradation can be solved to a great extent by organizing and attending subject specific workshops.
Coming to our work shop on effective communication, the subject was good, object was also good the teachers were excellent because of the fact it is really difficult to engage an audience aging between 25 years and 52 years to listen what they want to instill in our brains. Brains which are not in learning mode for long, brains pre occupied with daily chores to their full, brains worried about earning and not learning. Anyway, it was a good experience especially for me.
Subject was taught through presentations, discussions, speeches, games etc. Every effort was made to make learning fun, interesting, methodical, experience based, logical supported by data. We understood the various means of effective communication, the process of communication, essentials of making effective and research based presentations, the importance of questioning for effective communication, 7C’s of communication, handling of ego-state in communication. It will not be possible for me to sum up all the ingredients of communications in this article but surely I will try to share with you my experiences in my next few communications.
Let us focus on the usage of effective communication at work places. Effective communication depends on clarity and understanding of the subject, the preparation before the submission and during generating information, command on language being used and the art of arranging facts in a chronological order. If the communicator does not understand his subject in depth, it is certain that he will not be able to justify his job. Knowledge of the subject will bring clarity to the communicator’s mind thus the flow of the content will be natural and smooth making full impact on the mind of listener. The most important step is to prepare well before submission. Well done preparation with knowledge of the subject produces perfect information which can be efficient, effective and will meet all the desirable parameters required for an effective communication. Language works as conduit the more you know the language being used for the communication the better will be the expression. Better quality of expression and placing facts in a desired chronological order makes a message complete, effective and lucid.
Now let us assume that we are adequately equipped with the techniques of effective communication does this mean that our problem is solved. The biggest bottleneck in effective communication is the mindset of the person listening you. It is very difficult to create a patient listener with open mind ready to accept or consider the arguments put forward by different stakeholders during an open discussion on a subject. What I mean to convey is that are we mentally open and ready to deliberate on a piece of information being asked for by us from our juniors or our boss has demanded from us. The reply is known to all of us. I may confess here that even if we try to suggest something to our trainers during the workshop they may not agree to it, not because they are not aware of the fact that the suggestion is correct but they may feel in case they accept the suggestion publically it may question their ability. What I think is that a person who is open to listening, deliberations and discussions before falling into conclusions can be a good subordinate, a good colleague, a good boss, a good leader. But the reality is totally different. Take the case of big names in consulting field, they will come to you in a commanding position will listen but with a mindset totally predefined, preplanned carry some dictates of the top. Take the example of boss, he/she follows the instruction of his boss gets the desired information compiled knowing that there no material value in it. Take the example of our legislatures compelled to follow the whip of leadership even if hurts the cause of the nation. One of the biggest examples can be our beaurocrates once they are in chair they will never give you an opportunity to express. The situation outside is not as easy as it seems during the workshop. As boss we forget that our juniors are also educated, have some experience, especially younger generation who is well equipped with current knowledge/ updated laws and are good in using and adoption of modern technologies.
Unless there is a listener how can we practice ego-state? A poet wrote somewhere oh God you are there but only because of us. It is the child who makes a man father. We are bosses because of our subordinates, world exists because of countries and the countries because of states etc. So, there is something called interdependency. Thus our existence is dependent on the existence of others. We are bosses because of our subordinates and let us not forget that subordinates are also human beings and may step in our shoes once we vacate the position being occupied by us. Respect for interdependency will create bonding among the teams resulting in team spirit. Team spirit brings all the members at one level thus create openness of mind resulting in creation of good listeners.
DILIP K RAINA –Chartered Accountant
B.Com; FCA (ICAI); PGDFM; PGDCA; DBM; Cert. IFRS (ICAEW); NCFM Capital Market (Dealers Module); Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Application for Microsoft Dynamics NAV (ERP) & AXAPTA (ERP).