It is said that man? edge, as the highest form of creation, is his ability to communicate, either verbal or written. For we, as social beings, gather together and always seek to relate to one another. Through our language or vocabulary-our tone, our facial expressions, gestures and postures-we send out signals or messages to each other and in the process, we also receive the same.
But what is communication? Why do we have to communicate? When does communication take place? Are there prerequisites to a good interpersonal communication?
Communication is defined as transmitting, giving (one-way communication) or giving and receiving (two-way communication) of information, signals or messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc.
Any mode by which an individual sends out a message, as understood by another and with feedback, is a form of communication.
Man communicates because he wants to be known, to be understood or to be involved. It is his full-time job to understand and be understood, to know and be known. He communicates, not just his opinions, feelings, and needs but, also his discoveries, struggles, and travails. He communicates because he has information or news. His communication devices are either verbal, written, signals or actions or a combination of any or all of the above.
While speech (language) and writing are his usual means of communication, physical constraints like impairment of speech and hearing forces him to use certain specialized symbolisms such as sign language in order to express himself. Never mind the groans! Of course, sign language is probably the oldest form of communication.
Man? need to relate knows no boundaries. In fact, from the homes to the working places, forms of communication are evolving, i.e. signals that for some who do not belong to may not understand outright.
At M Lhuillier for example, you will see employees making signs with their index finger. What does it mean? The index finger for ML employees means Numero Uno Ng Bayan.
A smile, the most common non-verbal form of communication, may convey different meanings. It may mean affection, sympathy, or sarcasm depending on who smiles and how, when and why it was done. Our facial expression, as a whole, would tell more than what we wish it would-our reactions, reservations, etc.
The tone of our voice can show what we say and what we mean. After all, you can even say ? hate you?seductively. Even the size of the crowd can have an effect on how we say things-how you say it with three people around may differ with a crowd of 100.
Our eyes, fingers and every part of our body can demonstrate signals and messages, thus creating a communication channel.
Without consciously knowing it, we also communicate even by the way we dress up or how we make up our face or the kinds of jewelry one wears or even the way one walks. All these are natural, non-verbal communication modes.
Verbal communication may look more difficult than making signs. Indeed, it is. After all, action speaks louder than words. It may probably be easier if we use the vernacular. However, if we use the English language, which is considered as one of our most used language, think again! The English language has around 600,000 words ?2,000 of which are frequently used by the average person, and each of the most common 500 words has an average of 28 meanings. The rule here is, of course, the simpler the word, the better. Don? crave for the highfalutin ones.