Did you know that we communicate as human beings in 5 different ways?
Of course, there are the obvious ones: verbal and non-verbal communication. These days verbal communication can be face-to-face or even through a screen on an internet-based call (COVID helped that along) and non- verbal is what we don’t say… Facial expressions, the odd eye-roll or even a big sigh can say more than words ever could.
Then, we have visual and written communication. Written communications seems to be the way the world functions, think text messages, posts, tweets, emails – so much of our communication is written (or should I say typed) and so much is left open to interpretation in this medium. Visual communication can happen without us even knowing. We are getting bombarded all the time with advertisements, images on social media, GIF’s and even single tiny little images like emoji’s that can take the place of an entire sentence .
But my favourite and the type of communication that has the most impact in order to understand the message being conveyed is listening. Listening often gets described as an art, why? Maybe because not many of us practice it well or maybe because we all struggle to do it well. There is a big difference between hearing what is being said and understanding the message. In order to understand, the listener needs to be attentive, needs to be actively listening to the speaker. Not an easy task when there are lots of things to divert our attention.
So whichever type of communication is going on, the question is: Are you receiving that information so that your brain can interpret it correctly and for you to respond correctly?