Verbal Communication

Lately, am alone in a new country, where every experience is new and am in a situation where survival of the fittest is very true. So, am constantly on the lookout for ways to excel and stand out in the crowd.

I have been thinking why is there so much difference in the way we talk and the way we write? I guess I am not alone in this kind of dilemma. How often do we take effort to apply any strategy in speaking (verbal communications)? Most of the conversations tend to be reactive instead of pro-active, that is why people tend to face conflicts and arguments.

What would happen if we try to apply writing strategy when we speak? Am sure it would result in better and improved overall communications. In fact, conversations should be a lot simpler than writing, because, primarily the "audience" is in front of you, where as in written form of communication, you have an extra step of identifying your "audience" and you cannot even gauge the reactions of the reader.

Let me list down some of the writing tactics that I follow:

1. Analyze the topic and gather information
2. Come up with clear picture of what is required to write
3. Write a draft and revise
4. Get a feedback from appropriate resources, if necessary

Well, coming back to conversations, most often I have observed that we tend to listen and answer without giving a second thought. We forget that in this form of communication, often we don't have a chance to revise. Further, many fail to get a feedback. To overcome this issue, you can take simple steps that would go a long way in making "successful conversations":

1. Listen carefully
2. Try to give direct answer
3. If you are not sure of what is asked, instead of giving an answer, you should try to phrase the question in your own words and confirm with the other person.
4. After answering, instead of keeping quite try to get feedback by asking "have I answered your question?" or "is this what you were expecting"

By asking this kind of simple questions, you would have a chance to understand if you have really had a successful conversation, which goes a long way in building strong communication skills.

1 comment:

Han Yu said...

Hello Vaish,

I came across your blog as I was searching for potential contributors for a book collection I'm working on--and I think you would be a perfect contributor!

Titled Negotiating International and Cross-Cultural Technical Communication: Stories of Technical Communicators, this book is unlike traditional academic publications. It invites practicing technical communicators to tell their stories negotiating international and cross-cultural contexts. I'd be happy to send you the detailed Call for Contributors or anwer any questions, if you are interested.

Han Yu, PhD
Assistant Professor
Technical Writing & Professional Communication
English Department
Kansas State University
130, E/CS Building
Manhattan, KS 66506

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