What is good communication? The easiest way to answer this question is to contrast good and bad communication, as in the comparison chart below.
To understand the comparison chart, all you need to keep in mind is that communication consists of a message sent by a sender and received by a receiver.
|POOR COMMUNICATION||GOOD COMMUNICATION|
|People wear masks, they uphold an image or protect a public identity||
People are authentic, they don’t pretend to be who they are not
|Sender attacks receiver||Sender is neutral or positive towards receiver|
Receiver doesn't listen to sender
Receiver is open to listen and listens effectively to sender
People (either sender or receiver) are distracted
|People are present: paying attention to the conversation|
|Message is garbled or ambiguous||Message is clear and direct|
|Sender has a hidden agenda (persuading, controlling, avoiding control, or any other agenda)||Sender discloses to receiver what he/she wants out the conversation|
|Receiver is judgmental and filters messages through his point of view||Receiver keeps mind clear and open to other points of view|
|One or more of the people involved are over-emotional (no longer in control of their thoughts, actions and words)||All parties in the conversation can be emotional, but not over-emotional|
The list above is not written in any particular order, all rows are just as important in achieving good communication between people.
But, if you ask me to pick the most critical element of good communication, I'd chose being present, being fully aware of what's being said by either party, including the mood of the conversation.
Being present will make all other elements of good communication possible.
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