Communication problems are the number one reason for divorce in the United States, according to the American Academy of Matrimony Lawyers (AAML). Some believe that family and friends have the power to decrease the suicide rate with communication. Having excellent communication skills can make for a great employee, parent, business owner, teacher, doctor, police officer, or politician, to name a few. If communication is the key to successful personal and professional relationships, why aren’t people better at it? How come we are still struggling to communicate effectively? Reminding people of the importance of communication is not enough. Everyone knows they need to communicate, but many do not know how to communicate yet communicate all the time! Crazy, right.
Communication comes from the Latin word “Communis,” which means to share. Sharing is fundamental to the development of all relationships; hence sharing binds us together. It is a process and skill; it is a tool and a muscle. As a two-way process, communication transmits between two or more persons with the intent to create a shared understanding in the form of ideas, thoughts, feelings, and opinions. As a skill, it is the ability to convey information efficiently and effectively. As a tool, it can build up and destroy, and like a muscle, it can be strong or weak.
We cannot share anything that we do not have. Communication can only happen if all persons involved have what it takes to share. Sharing/communicating personally or professionally requires developed character traits such as authenticity, transparency, empathy, the capacity to love, and exercised mercy with the core competencies of listening skills, conflict resolution skills, articulation, and emotional intelligence. Forsaking bad character that is not expedient for excellent communication is required because is equipped with all that is necessary would make communication an attainable tool. The next time communication is not working for you, assess yourself and activate the character trait or traits essential to power the tool called communication.