Communication is an essential component in our everyday life, and thus people often strive to communicate effectively. Effective communication involves the relaying of a message in a way that it is easily understood. The paper focuses on effective communication with families, staff and the community. I chose the topic because I noted that effective communication could bring positive change to society.
Communication is a two-way process, and for it to be complete, it involves several components. The first component is context. Context refers to the setting of the communication in which it can be fully understood. Context involves many aspects such as the culture of the communicators. Different cultures have their way of communicating. Another aspect is external stimulus which involves the means by which communication takes place. Communication may be done through a telephone call, email or one on one conversation. Another aspect is internal stimulus which refers to the communicator’s opinion, education or experience. Another component of communication is the sender. A sender uses words, symbols, and presentations that aid him in conveying the message so as to achieve the expected feedback. The other component of communication is the message. The sender should consider all other components of communication and ensure that the message is clear. The other component is the medium through which the message is sent. The medium chosen depends on the context of the message. The receiver is the other important component of communication. The receiver is the person to whom the message is sent to. He or she is also influenced by context and thus can misinterpret a message. Feedback is the final and most important component of communication. Feedback involves the receiver’s response, and communication is incomplete without it (Chase 31-33).
Communication can also take place without words and is referred to as non- verbal communication. Non-verbal communication can convey messages that are not conveyed through words or can be used to emphasize spoken words. The ability to note non-verbal cues can enable one to also use expressive and receptive non-verbal communication. One can improve their non-verbal communication by maintaining eye contact with the person they are communicating with. When one does not look into the other’s eyes, it may signal that they are hiding something. However, too much eye contact may be discomforting. Another way for one to improve their non-verbal communication is by using the right tone of voice. The tone of voice expresses your feelings. Using an enthusiastic tone will show that you are genuinely interested in something. One should also employ the right physical space. Standing too close to someone may be seen as invading their space. However, it all depends on with the situation at hand, the culture and the closeness of the people. Physical space may also be used to convey messages of affection or intimacy. Another way in which we can use expressive and receptive non-verbal communication is through gestures. People use gestures such as with their hands when they are communicating. However, gestures have different meanings in different cultures thus one should be careful not to misinterpret them. Another way in which one can improve their non-verbal communication is through body movement and posture. The way one walks sits and stands expresses a lot about them. Finally, another way in which one can improve their non-verbal communication is through facial expression. Facial expressions are universal and convey one’s emotion (Burgoon 27-33).
Using communication effectively can foster good relationships. One should strive to communicate clearly and in a manner which is understandable by the other party. Effective communication involves feedback. One should also strive to give constructive feedback so as to build beneficial relationships. Moreover, when communicating, one should also aim to listen. When we actively listen to someone, we prove that we are genuinely interested in what they are saying (Conger 23-26). Effective communication is also essential in solving problems, especially in the early childhood community. Care givers can do this by encouraging children to express themselves without fear and in turn listen to them actively. Listening to them will enable the children know that what they have to say is important. Therefore, children will grow up without fear of being wrong (Hardman 23-30).
Effective communication should also be employed in the teacher-parent relationship. Teachers should maintain constant communication with parents about the children’s activities at school. Teachers can communicate to parents about the children’s’ grades and behavior. Parents, on the other hand, can communicate with the teachers about how they can help the children if they are having difficulty with school work. Learning takes place both at home and at school. Thus parents and teachers should make an effort to be in constant communication about how the children are faring in the learning process. Prior to teacher-parent conferences, parents should ask the children how they feel about school or what they would like to talk about during the conference (Chambers 14-19). During the conference, one should ask questions about what they consider important, ask for an explanation on what is not understood. The parent should also ask how they can help the children at home. The parent should not forget to thank the teacher as the teacher will be pleased to know that his or her efforts are valued. After the conference, the parent should talk about the conference with the child. He or she should also let them know about positive things and the problems noted. The parent should also convey any plans made with the teacher to the child. Finally, the parent should keep in touch with the teacher throughout the school year. In order for children to grow well, their parents and the local community should have positive and productive relationships as the community also plays a major role in the children’s development. Such a relationship can only be achieved through effective communication. Effective communication can be fostered by both parties being interested, respectful, humble, inviting and actively listening to each other (Christopher 30-33)
Conclusively, in the work place, effective communication is also essential when communicating with colleagues as this helps in minimizing misunderstandings and solving problems in a collaborative way. In order for cordial relationships to be maintained with colleagues, one should be willing to listen actively, talk face to face to avoid misunderstandings, keep communication short, simple and direct and offer constructive criticism. At the work place, colleagues can offer each other feedback that will be useful. The feedback should be specific, and it should focus on the behavior and not the person, it should be given to help but not to hurt, it is solicited and not imposed, it is timely and should be clear. Workers should uphold ethical practices when dealing with each other in order to maintain good relationships. They should show honesty and integrity, treat each other with respect and make equal decisions.
Burgoon, Laura Guerrero. Nonverbal Communication. Routledge. 2016.
Chambers, Harry. Effective Communication Skills: For Scientific and Technical Proffesionals. Perseus Publishing. 2001.
Chase, Wyne Shamo. Effective Communication. Plain & Precious Publishing. 2013
Christopher, Cindy. Building Parent Teacher Communication. R&L Education. 1996.
Conger, Jay. On Communication: The Necessary Art of Persuasion. Audible Studios on brilliance Audio. 2016.
Hardman, Emilia. Active listening: How to Turn Down Your Volume to Turn Up Your Communication Skills.2012.