One of my colleagues asked me to take an assignment in Japan. The assignment was a great one and the payment was huge! I was hired by the Japanese foreign ministry to train their Honorable Prime Minister so that He can communicate with an American in English in the quickest possible time. Well, I was excited and full of energy and enthusiasm about it.
I tried all my techniques and methods to enable honorable Prime Minster to communicate in English with an American. After 15 days I came to know that Mr. Barak Obama, the President of the United States would visit Japan to talk about their bilateral interests and issues. It was a bolt from the blue for me! I left no stones unturned to enable my honourable learner to use English effectively but my all efforts went in vain. Finally I came up with an idea. I asked the Prime Minister to say “How are you?” when he would first welcome the US President Obama at the airport lounge. Naturally, as part of formality Mr. Obama would, in reply, say, “I’m fine. Thank you. How are you? Mr. Prime Minister?” Exactly right at the sequence I kept training the Prime Minister of Japan just to say, “Me too.” Then I asked the foreign delegates of Japan to take the situation over to their control and continue the formalities. We kept practicing and practicing the sequence and the situation.
The red-letter day arrived. We all were waiting at the airport. I was nearby the Prime Minister of Japan to make sure that he had full confidence to make his communication effective. Mr. Obama arrived. It was the moment we had been waiting for a long time. The Prime Minister moved forward and nodded his head and immediately said, “Who are you?” (instead of ‘how are you?’). Mr. Obama initially looked startled but dealt with the situation with the usual American sense of humor. He looked round, looked at his right & left side and said, “Well, I’m the husband of Michele Obama.” As part of the sequence of the training, now it was the Japanese Prime Minister’s turn to say something. So He said, “Me too!” The whole delegates from both sides burst in to laughter after a brief but pin drop silence!
|The red-letter day arrived. We all were waiting at the airport. I was nearby the Prime Minister of Japan to make sure that he had full confidence to make his communication effective. Mr. Obama arrived. It was the moment we had been waiting for a long time. The Prime Minister moved forward and nodded his head and immediately said, “Who are you?” (instead of ‘how are you?’). Mr. Obama initially looked startled but dealt with the situation with the usual American sense of humor. He looked round, looked at his right & left side and said, “Well, I’m the husband of Michele Obama.” As part of the sequence of the training, now it was the Japanese Prime Minister’s turn to say something. So He said, “Me too!” The whole delegates from both sides burst in to laughter after a brief but pin drop silence!|
Of course, the story mentioned above is just a joke. But we’ve some learning points. It’s all about effective communication skills at work. The word ‘Communication’ is derived from two Latin words: (1) a noun ‘Communis’, which means ‘Common’ and (2) a verb ‘Communicare’, which means ‘Share’. Therefore, functionally, COMMUNICATION means sharing of ideas between two or more people providing the satisfaction to each in common. On the other hand, effective communication is the act of influencing and inducing others to act in the manner intended by the person who initiates the communication efforts. In fact, effective communication is the COMMUNICATION that works!
Effective communication needs two most important things- number one understanding about the essentials of communication process such as the responsibilities of a sender and a receiver etc. because sharing takes place mainly between two parties.
And number two-the proficiency of the language you will be using for communication. The effectiveness of your communication skill depends on how proficiently you use your language, how correctly you choose communication channels and finally how you maintain proper feedback. Certainly, your use of emotion as a human being with yourself and with the people you communicate plays a very important role to make your communication effective.
There is no term such as ‘perfect’ in terms of measuring the success rate of communication skills. Experts believe that only a benchmark such as ‘Excellence’ can used to measure the outcome of each communication we make. In order to maximize the success rate of our communication effort we’ve to consciously avoid the barriers to effective communication.
The list of barriers to communication is not very long. It always starts with ‘human bad mood’ along with the use of language. If you’re in a bad mood, you’re going to make your communication much worse! It’s better to take a pause, if you’re in a bad mood just before communicating with someone. Lack of information or knowledge causes gaps in communication. Inactive listening or ‘not listening’ always leads to misunderstanding or misinterpretation between people communicating with each other. Failure to explore alternatives or failure to ask the right question at the right moment in communicating with the concerned person may result in miscommunication. Moreover, jumping to conclusions, not explaining priorities, not paying attention to other’s needs and preconceived ideas are the root causes of all miscommunication.
Our communication is either communicated effectively or miscommunicated. Therefore, we need to improve our communication skills because 70% of our communication efforts are misunderstood, misinterpreted, rejected, distorted or not heard! Improving our communication skill means ‘keeping ourselves aware of the barriers and avoiding each barrier to make our communication effort effective.’ Of course we’ve to pay regular attention to the use of language we’re using for our communication-be it Bangla, English of any other languages.
Business is all about communication. So is the survival of individual’s position in human society. The more effectively you communicate, the more widely you get connected with the world. In order to get connected with the proper network and flow, you must have the effective communication skills. It increases our efficiency and saves time, money, energy and efforts. The secret of success in life lies in, how effectively we can communicate with the world around us.
About the Author:
Moinuddin Chowdhury is an M.A (English), CTESOL, PGDHRD (CU-UK), PGDHRM (ABP-UK), MIT (London). He is the Lead Visionary & Chief Executive Officer of Society for Leadership Skills Development (SLSD). He is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Department of English in Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), Dhaka & an Advisor for Microgenix BD Limited.
He’s the founding member and Secretary General of BOLD-Bangladesh Organization for Learning and Development. Moreover, he’s a motivational speaker, thought leader, author of different books on personal development, management and leadership skills. To know more about him visit www.slsdbd.com or e-mail him firstname.lastname@example.org