Skill, as commonly understood, is the ability that enables a person to do something well. It is acquired and not something that people are naturally endowed with at birth. There are varieties of skills as there are different tasks requiring a wide range of expertise; but if there is only one skill that people should learn and cultivate in life, it is the skill of communication. It is very important that marriage is said to be a failure when there is no open communication between the couple.
It has been said also that lack of communication skills render a team leader ineffective in his leadership, and thus weaken the whole team. In the workplace where disputes are common, a good communication – if secured at different sections – can resolve and even prevent misunderstandings. The art of speaking and listening are both crucial in all relationships. Business dealings involve verbal and non-verbal communication. From manner of dressing which makes an initial impression, to the manipulation of words when introduction and persuasion begin, these are all that communication is involved.
Because it is a skill, every person must have the opportunity to acquire, develop and make a thorough improvement on his/her ability to communicate. Everyone starts at a minimum pace, where language and the other parts of this process of interaction are learned slowly and most times, are taken for granted. It is inevitable though that problems or conflicts arise due to the diversity or dissimilarity that people communicate. People learn that there is a need to understand each other – the many ways that make every person different contributing to the difficulty of understanding each other better.
This is the raison d’être, the basis that communication skills must not only be acquired and developed; it essentially must be mastered. People just don’t communicate, they must communicate accurately if possible, and effectively. By this, individuals are adept in delivering a clear message. Explicit message can still be misunderstood, in as much as there are still many ways of interpreting anything that which is significant to the recipient. To decode a message requires that two people have similar cultures or that they have the same reference from which to decode a message.
There are only a few who will not agree that skillful communication is one of the most decisive features in either of a person’s business or personal life. Nevertheless, it more than just an ability to convey a message or letting one be understood. It is an art form; one that is rich and beautiful for any person to aim to master (Roselli, 1996). Specifically, from the moment a child is conceived and growing in the womb, to the time he/she is born and until the remaining breaths that he/she takes, tremendous forms of communication situations beset a human being.
This includes: crying when hungry or wet or uncomfortable for a baby, a child admiring another’s toy, being angry when provoked, asking the teacher to repeat the statements she just made, proposing to a girl, instructing and reminding one’s children or bargaining with the kids over curfew or some privileges, making a long distance call, or making negotiations with a superior. These are all identifiable situations that incur more than just the ability to use symbolic language. It must require mastery for every person to circumnavigate every situation in his/her life (Roselli, 1996).
Mastery entails understanding and comprehending the basic nuances of an aspect or thing in life. It is a necessity that every person must have the understanding and comprehension of the basics of communication. It implies that the three elements essential to communication or the three skill areas must be possessed by everyone. These are behavior, content and interaction. When a human being imparts his ideas or desires, he/she imparts these through a certain behavior. “Behavior reflects the physicality of communicating” (Roselli, 1996).
It is how one communicates. Content refers to about what one is actually communicating or the words that one says while interaction skills takes “fully into account who you are communicating with, the flow between you and others, and how skillfully you manage that flow” (Roselli, 1996). When the nuances of communication are scrutinized, people notice that communication is not that simple: it is complex and it exacts something from people. Consequently, it also demands to be mastered.
However, though it is an art form, it does not entail that a person must set aside time in a day or week, or physical space in order for a person to fit it into place to develop it into his/her life. There are no paraphernalia or special gadgets required for one to be able to start in its mastery (Roselli, 1996). “All that is required besides your everyday communication situations are a sincere effort to practice a few skills in each of the three skill areas, some reliable feedback, and most importantly, your sustained attention and awareness,” according to Roselli in his article Mastering the Art of Communication.
To become a good and effective communicator, a person needs practice with meaningful feedback. An instructor can help modify the person’s responses appropriate to the situations that are required in various settings. The workplace undergoes overwhelming changes while the family systems are even undergoing the same.
This is the reason that knowledge, proficiency, skill in communicating must not only be acquired, this must be developed to a mastery level. This ensures that whatever transformations that are constantly occurring within the life of a person, he/she is equipped to meet these challenges because he/she understands better and can convey and interpret the barrage of messages around him/her better.
Roselli, Peter. 1996. Mastering the Art of Communication. Cor Communications Llc, Ca. Accessed through http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Rosselli1.html