Peter Drucker, an American business consultant, educator, and author, asserts that listening to what is not being said is the most crucial aspect of communication. A wide range of methods for disseminating and conveying messages are included in the field of communication. There are numerous ways to communicate, each focusing on a different method or facet of communication.
The renowned Greek philosopher Aristotle stated more than 2,000 years ago, "A human is by nature a social animal."
Communication is the foundation of all social interactions.
You begin communicating the minute you enter this world. Your initial attempt at communication is your first cry. You eventually discover other forms of communication as you continue to develop.
Oral and written communication are two frequently discussed types of communication. Understanding the distinction between oral and written communication is necessary for effectively communicating a message. Oral and written communication, which refer to information delivery, are both common terms.
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What do we hope to achieve through communication? Our goal is to communicate our message. Formally or informally, we communicate to inform or interact. When information, emotions, opinions, and ideas are exchanged, there is a two-way interaction.
The two fundamental forms of communication
- Verbal (Oral) Communication
- Non-verbal (written/signs/gestures) communication.
Right communication is crucial for everyone and becomes essential because we must ensure that the message is transmitted in an intended way.
Verbal communication is the use of words to convey information. Whereas non-verbal communication can be your body language, signs, and gestures.
The two components of effective communication.
- Expressing oneself
- Listening to others.
A significant number of people overlook the second half. Many people are brilliant at talking, but when it comes to listening to another person's thoughts and feelings, they fall short. It can be extremely difficult to listen. Effective verbal communication depends on good listening.
Words are a critical part of the communication process to send a message in an intended manner. Verbal communication is the act of communicating via the use of words. Information can be communicated verbally orally or in writing.
The earliest mode of communication, oral communication is also the one that is most frequently used to share information. Through spoken words, information is gathered or distributed.
On the other hand, written communication is a formal method of communication in which the message is carefully crafted and presented in written form. For instance, oral communication refers to spoken exchanges, while written communication uses symbols that are written. Both types of communication are essential for exchanging ideas across all fields.
Like non-verbal communication, effective speaking focuses on three primary areas:
- The words you select
- How do you say them?
- How well you use additional non-verbal cues to support them?
All of them impact how your message is conveyed and how your audience receives and comprehends it.
It is important to carefully analyze your word choice. Even when discussing the same issue, you will usually need to use different words on each occasion. For example, how you deliver a topic at a significant conference will be considerably different from how you speak to a close friend about the same topic.
The main distinctions between oral and written communication.
- Written communication is a type of communication that involves conveying information using written or printed language.
- There is no such prerequisite for oral communication as there is for written communication, which requires participants to be literate.
- Written communication contains proper records, whereas oral communication does the exact opposite.
- Verbal communication moves more quickly than written communication.
- In the case of oral communication, once the words are spoken, they cannot be taken back. On the other hand, written communication allows for altering the original message.
- In contrast to written communication, oral communication allows for the possibility of message misunderstanding.
- Instant reply from the recipient is feasible with oral communication but not with written communication.
Oral communication is clearer and more comprehended since it is interpersonal. There are no rigidities involved with spoken communication. Decisions that have already been made can be changed with flexibility.
Responses with spoken communication come right away. As a result, decisions can be made right now and without delay.
Oral communication saves time, money, and other resources. Speaking with others to solve problems is the most efficient approach. We can overcome various problems and challenges, controversies by talking about them. For forging a sense of cohesiveness and togetherness, oral communication is essential.
Oral communication boosts and makes more receptive employee morale in a business. Relying just on oral communication may not be sufficient in the corporate world because it is formal and organized. Oral communications are less formal and informal than written communications, hence they lack the validity of written communications. While lengthy speeches during meetings might occasionally be counterproductive, oral communication saves time during routine interactions. Because they are challenging to maintain, conversations might become unstable. There can be misunderstandings since the information is unfinished and lacks crucial details. It necessitates that the audience pays careful attention and is extremely responsive. Speeches and other oral communications are rarely used in court cases other than for investigative purposes.
Qualities for oral communication to be effective
- In oral communication, the communicator's speech must be clear. Language needs to be simple to understand.
- The speaker should have a proper plan of the communication's topic matter in place before speaking. Effective speaking can improve communication.
- Oral communication should be brief and meaningful. Effective communication depends on brief yet informative speeches.
- The speaker's speech or message should be appealing.
- The speech needs to be accurate and pertinent to the topic. Speech that is unneeded or irrelevant should be avoided.
- The message must be free of errors as another prerequisite for effective oral communication.
- Clear speaking is essential for productive communication.
When you meet someone for the first time, you instantly generate an opinion of them based on how they appear, sound, and act as well as any information you may have learned about them from others. This first impression influences, at least in part, how you communicate moving forward.
For instance, you can make assumptions about someone's background, likely degree of skill, and level of understanding when you first meet them and hear them talk. What you say may change as a result of this. For example, you might use flowery language if you hear a foreign accent. You may feel insecure if you tend not to understand their accent and realise that you must pay closer attention to what they are saying to understand it. Of course, you might change your mind afterwards. As you learn more about your contact and as you get to know them better, you might start questioning your thinking.
We frequently take listening for granted. People frequently hear what is said, yet hearing and listening are very different. When we listen, we must intentionally work to absorb, understand, and not just hear what others are saying and not just hear to reply. In addition to improving your comprehension and communication skills, active listening makes it more pleasant for other people to speak or communicate with you.
Why do we sometimes not listen and take listening for granted?
Various events in our own life or negative habits we may have developed have an impact on our capacity to listen effectively. It is simpler than ever to get sidetracked by something or by our ideas, which causes us to lose interest in what is being stated.
Some of the reasons we do not listen attentively include
- Being preoccupied with your own thoughts
- We already have a response prepared.
- Something that goes against what we believe.
What makes listening crucial?
Communication requires listening, and there are variations between passive and active listening in many areas of our lives and growth. So, how can you begin to actively listen?
There are a few behaviors you need to develop to master active learning. You will probably need to practice, and it is unlikely that you will always be able to accomplish it, but you need to begin by
- Paying attention to what is being said; do not get sidetracked, and hold on to just responding.
- Look at the speaker and nod sometimes to demonstrate that you are paying attention. (non-verbal skills)
- Prior to asking questions, give the speaker a chance to complete them before responding.
It is not sufficient to simply possess knowledge; we also need to convey it successfully to others. One of the secrets to success is efficient communication.
We effectively communicate our thoughts and ideas when we can make them clear to the audience. Although being technically sound is important, we should also be able to convey and communicate our thoughts to others most clearly and effectively possible. Soft skills and effective communication enhance our efficiency as well as our relationships with others.
When an error goes undetected in communication, it can lead to confusion, wasted time, and lost opportunities.
Communication issues can arise at any point during the process. Our aim should be to reduce the occurrence of these issues at each level to communicate clearly and effectively. This can be accomplished through messages that are precise, succinct, and well-planned.
We can now digitalize our audio and video inputs and connect across large distances thanks to technology. Many users forget several crucial features of audio communication in most audio communications, leading to misunderstandings or no communication.
Similar considerations should be made when utilising a tool for video communication to ensure that the communication is successful and that there is no miscommunication.
Written communication involves a lot of work, whereas vocal communication comes naturally and spontaneously to man. Writing is a skill that requires a lot of practice and perseverance to master. It is obvious that speaking comes first, and writing follows. Writing first appeared in all languages long after speech did.
The evolution of the alphabet in every language can be seen in the history of civilization in various eras. However, one thing is obvious. Anything that has been written is irrevocable unless it is deleted. However, uttered words are prone to be forgotten if it is not impactful. Writing is, therefore, essential for communication.
Characteristics of written communication
- It takes a lot of creativity and effort to produce a finished piece of writing. Written communication is reliant on deliberate effort, whereas verbal communication is spontaneous.
- Well-written letters and reports reflect the organization's image. We must hence, first gather all the relevant data, and then properly write it out. Every move we make needs to be cautious. Oral communication is not always accurate, whether through spoken words or another medium.
- Another important characteristic of written communication is the time factor that is involved in it. Oral messages, in a face-to-face situation or through the telephone, reach the receiver immediately, and the feedback almost always comes immediately. This is not the case with written communication.
- The sender must carefully plan out his message, a letter, or report and encode it with great care. Then he sends it to the person for whom it is meant. The receiver takes his own time to decode it. Then he gives it careful thought or filters it through his mind and plans out his reaction to it. Sending back the reply or his comments on it will take some time. Oral communication is less time-consuming.
- In comparison to oral communication, written communication has fewer cycles. The oral receives an immediate reaction, frequently resulting in additional verbal exchanges. Writing prevents this from happening. Typically, it occurs once every cycle.
A written communication's importance
It is impossible to imagine a corporate organization without written communication because it is so essential to commercial operations. Any organisation's operation relies heavily on the exchange of letters, reports, etc. There are several causes for it. The biggest issue is that employees of an organization may be dispersed over large geographic distances, making face-to-face communication not always viable. Therefore, we must rely on letter interchange.
The significance of letters has not diminished due to modern technological distances. Transmission methods have changed. However, the value of textual communication has not diminished.
There are techniques to enhance your verbal communication abilities so that you may more readily build rapport with others, even if you are a timid introvert who prefers to work alone.
Take the time to actively practice these communication skills for job success since practice makes perfect: Active listening, brevity, confidence, empathy, friendliness, open-mindedness, providing and seeking criticism, assurance, respect, and non-verbal (body language, tone of voice, eye contact) communication are all necessary for effective communication.
To strengthen written communications, you should also be aware of your aim and target audience before writing. Be sure to include all pertinent information. You can use outlines to present a report that is ordered and straightforward. Be careful while editing as it is the most essential text part.
When is it important to Listen?
Everyone should be able to listen properly because it is necessary for almost all work-related activities. Teamwork is one area where listening skills are crucial. Team members are better equipped to exchange ideas and resolve issues when they listen to one another. The finest decisions can only be made when you are aware of all the information that is accessible, and to be aware of all the information, you must listen. Managers must listen with respect, sensitivity, and compassion.
Hence employees will also be able to feel trusted and valued.
The extra insight required to answer queries and resolve issues that satisfies the client can be obtained by carefully listening and assisting the customer in properly expressing their situation. You can learn what conditions the other party will and will not accept if you listen with an open mind in a business context.
Wrapping it up
Nonetheless, it can be difficult to choose between the two communication methods because they are both effective in their own ways. Because it is easier and more time-efficient, people typically communicate orally.
Communication indeed makes our life easier. However, individuals typically trust written texts more than spoken ones, which is why written communication is regarded as the most dependable communication. Our ability to personalize the message to the reader and, as a result, significantly raise the quality and efficacy of our message depends on our understanding of how people read in today's fast-paced environment.