The art of effective communication

The art of effective communication

Communication seems to have gone through a massive reboot due to Covid-19. It has been observed that while writing emails to teachers, students are beginning with lines such as “hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe”, “stay safe and stay indoors” – these thoughts in an otherwise formal e-mail is a reflection of what is happening in society today. However, it is heartening that young adults mirror these thoughts through expressions like this — on emails, during online sessions and in text messages.

Here is a quick guide to understand the role of emotions and hence communicate with care in these uncertain times:

The role of emotions

The power of emotions comes into play when times are uncertain. Fear, anxiety, curiosity, anger – these are some primal emotions that can come to the surface. For students, this can be overwhelming as they are in different age groups – teens, late teens, young adults. 

Some children and young adults learn early on how to cope and adjust, either through a strong emotional connect with their parents and siblings or through the pursuit of a hobby or sport. Hobbies are a good means to express and understand emotions. Sport is another excellent way to master emotional intelligence. It helps channelise anger or fear and direct it towards more productive and meaningful forms.

Students who actively pursue such hobbies and sports become good communicators, expressing themselves confidently.

Choice of words

The next step is to use the right words to give a context to these emotions. Words have the power to shift roadblocks and make the listener or reader understand your messages effectively. For example, in these uncertain times, giving utmost priority to health and adherence to government regulations should be in focus.

You may notice that everyone, whom you and your family interact with, is sending a message with words that show their understanding of the current situation.  Hence, remember to thank the person speaking to you on the other end of the phone as you register a complaint or book an order. Remember to draft your message in your phone or email with the right understanding of this.

Always keep the other person’s feelings in mind when putting out a request and you are more likely to get a positive response. 

Add a dash of care in your communication — it reflects professionalism when you use the context of what’s happening in the outside world in business communication.

(The writer is a media and communication faculty and researcher)