We are social animals

Human beings are social animals and depend on communication to survive. All human beings are born with the need to communicate, which means they have an innate desire to speak and be heard. Communication is a basic human need that is necessary for survival in society.

What is communication?

Communication is the process of exchanging thoughts, information, or feelings. This includes face-to-face communication, spoken or written words, and gestures.

Communication problems have been around since the beginning of time. Communication is a process that engages two or more people to establish a common ground for thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Problems arise when the message being communicated is misunderstood because it did not translate well, or there was no common ground for understanding.

Communication is a two-way process between the sender and the receiver. It is a process of exchanging messages from one person to another through some medium, such as language, signs, facial expressions, or body language.

Meaningful communication

How to communicate effectively, or how to make sure that your message reaches someone, or how to have meaningful communication?

What do you mean by meaningful communication?

You can’t communicate in a vacuum. You need to have an idea about a person or group of people before forming your thoughts about what to say. That’s why many people find it difficult to talk in front of a camera or the mic for their video or podcast because they can’t see people.

Before you communicate with someone, you anticipate their response. Your anticipation is based on your knowledge about that person, or you guess it from your past experiences. Based on that, you design your communication – the message and the language accordingly. But sometimes, you get an entirely different reaction from them. In that case, two things can happen.

Two choices

Either you take their response as feedback, go back inside your head, and recreate new communication, either by changing your message or language. Or, you can react to their response. For example, you may start defending or explaining yourself. Or, even worse, you may begin accusing them of not being a good listener. Then you will find yourself engaged in an entirely different communication, far from your original intention.

Owning your communication

But if you take the first path, you will take it as feedback. You will realize that you need to adjust your communication to make sure that your message gets across. You will change the way you communicate and recheck their response. If still, you don’t get the desired response, you will again fine-tune your communication. You will patiently do it again and again till you get the desired response. If you get the undesired response, you will simply know that your guess about the person and your communication was incorrect. Then you can instantly calibrate or modify your communication and try again.

But, you must remember that you just can’t restart the communication without clearing the stage again. You need to accept that it was your faulty communication. You can say sorry, or you can communicate through your gestures and body language. By doing so, you are putting them in the right state of mind so that there is no resistance.

The feedback is deeper

And one more thing, their response is not just feedback about what you said; it may be about you. The feedback may be about how you said it, such as the words you have used, your tonality, and your body language.

So this is a continuous process. You say something, get the response and again change your communication. So in this way, you have complete control over the direction of your communication and the response you want from your communication. You take responsibility for your communication and the response you get. You consider yourself responsible for your communication because it created that response.

If you adopt this methodology or strategy, you are concerned and are focused on the outcome you want. You are not dependent on the listening or understanding capabilities of the other person. The communication may go wrong, but you will correct your communication until you get the correct response. Because ultimately, you know you require to communicate and get your message across.

Who is interested in getting their message across?

Though the communication happens between two people, it’s your responsibility to have meaningful communication, if it is your interest! By taking responsibility for your communication, you are taking responsibility for your message and its outcome. It may be an emotional sharing with your loved one or educating someone, or a warning to help avoid danger.

It is the nature of communication that it can always go wrong. We use multiple channels while communicating – tone, language, choice of words, voice, body language, gestures, etc. And we can never fully know the other person’s way of listening and interpreting our communication. It is only possible to know by checking their feedback. By adjusting your communication according to their feedback, you can finally build rapport with them. Once you develop a connection with them, you will find that your communication has become effortless. When you have a strong rapport with the other person, even erroneous communication is received well!

Giving your control

On the other hand, if you don’t take their response as feedback, they will control your communication. There will be just a reaction to the reaction. In the end, you will be dissatisfied, frustrated, and maybe angry. And your relationship may become bitter.

The only way to get the guaranteed desired response from them is through a feedback correction mechanism. When you accept the responsibility of your communication, your communication will never fail.

The meaning of your communication

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP, there’s a beautiful presupposition. It says, “the meaning of your communication is the response that you get.” To get the desired response, you need to correct your communication. Besides your words, you may need to change your tonality, volume, and body language.

In upcoming posts, I will explain the components of your communication and how much impact they have on your communication in detail.

For now, just remember this, “the meaning of your communication is the response that you get.” If you are interested in getting your message across, take responsibility. Stop complaining!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help you boost your impact whether you are engaged in teaching, inspiring, persuading, or leading others. You may be a coach, trainer, therapist, entrepreneur, sales and marketing professional, or an influencer.