Communication is the key factor in the overall success of managing any project by a project manager, as project manager spends maximum amount of time (up to approx. 90%) in communicating something or other thing to someone or other using some or other form of communication.
Good communication skill means an ability to translate one’s thoughts into a language that is understood by others in an easy and simple manner. In lighter terms…if someone understands only English language and you send email in Hindi language…what will happen….conflict…misunderstandings…no reply…! We need to understand this part of the communication very well. Let us understand what an effective communication is: There are three elements in any face-to-face communication:
2) Para Lingual (Tone and pitch of voice)
3) Nonverbal behavior (e.g. Facial expression)
Now stop for a while and try to guess how many percentage we can assign to each of the above out of 100% according to your experience for having effective and successful communication? E.g. Words = 40%, Tone of Voice = 40%, Nonverbal = 20%. The non-verbal elements are particularly important for communicating feelings, hidden emotions and attitude, especially when they are in disharmony: If words disagree with the tone of the voice and nonverbal behavior, people tend to believe the tone of the voice and nonverbal behavior.
When delivering a lecture or presentation, the textual content of the lecture is delivered entirely verbally, but the non-verbal cues are very important in conveying the speaker's attitude towards what they are saying, particularly their belief or conviction. The three elements account differently for our liking for the person who puts forward a message concerning their feelings: a study indicated that words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of the liking.
Check this numbers with yours above! For effective communication about emotions, these three parts of the message need to support each other - they have to be in perfect harmony with each other. In case of any disharmony among them, the receiver of the message might be irritated by two messages coming from two different channels (verbal channel and non verbal channel), giving cues in two different directions. (E.g. verbal channel says I am happy with you but non verbal channel says I am not happy with you)
The following example should help to illustrate disharmony in verbal and non-verbal communication.
• Verbal: "I do not have a doubt on your capabilities!"
• Non-verbal: person avoids eye-contact, a person does not look confident while saying above etc.
It becomes more likely that the receiver will trust the predominant form of communication, according to the findings it is Para-lingual and non-verbal (38% + 55%), rather than the literal meaning of the words (7%). Same thing even applies to written communication. In written communication the words you choose; length of the sentences, rhythm, and even font style and color choices express tone, attitude and feelings. For example, now a day we see the email communication has increased but in fact that is sometimes causing misunderstandings.
The fundamental truth behind this misunderstanding is that even written communication has got non verbal (not written, but inner feelings and emotions expressed through above mentioned parameters.). For example not replying an important email also conveys some cues to the sender about feelings and emotions of the receiver who is avoiding replying your email. The important point here is how much we are really sincere and conscious of these things while we communicate!
Here are some common reasons for blocks to effective communication:
a) We sometimes lose the essence of what is trying to be conveyed (transmitted) by the other.
b) Being lost in our own feelings or ideas. In such a state we do not listen attentively to others point of view.
c) Lack of sincerity. When our thoughts and feelings are honest and respectful, then the hearts of others will open to us. A positive express highway (without any traffic within!) of trust is built and communication flows easily and positively.
d) Creating negative perceptions (understandings) and emotions about others i.e. how we visualize or label them. Such emotions, no matter how well hidden, are finally always communicated to others on a subtle (non-physical), non-verbal level, and create an atmosphere of tension and unease.
e) Not letting go of negative perceptions (understandings) and emotions about ourselves and others. The only method to revive our team relationship with team members is to let go of negativity (if any) on a daily basis, to prevent it from building up.
Far too often, the build-up happens without us even noticing it and, we wonder why positive feedback is not coming from the other side.
In a nutshell, always remember "Manner always wins over the Matter". Remember that our tone of voice, our body language (particularly our eyes and face), our attitudes and our feelings, are constantly in communication with others, expressing anger, fear, love, trust, rejection, acceptance - in fact, are all our feelings and emotions.
In short, our feelings and emotions also travel along with our words and it reaches first and faster than the words! We cannot hide what we mean (even if we want to!), we may do so for a while, but finally the truth emerges. We can conclude with a communication slogan that: “To handle yourself use your head, to handle others use your heart!” Wishing you happy and healthy communication.