Wednesday, March 05, 2008

EFFECTIVE communication

effective communication is one of the most powerful skills needed to succeed in life. whether it is in its most natural form as a true and honest means of imparting information (facts/ideas/thoughts/emotions), or it is used in a more persuasive (brainwashing was too strong a word) context, effective communication is POWERFUL. we learn how to communicate at an early age, but we are not taught how to effectively communicate until college (and that is if you actively pursue the skill---communications majors, etc.). the few courses i had as an undergraduate that even touched the subject of effective communication did not emphasize the subject as much as it needed to be. georgia tech tried to implement the necessary changes in its engineering departments to help its engineers communicate better. however, this plan seemed to be implemented with the assumption that we would be more aggressive in learning how to communicate effectively on our own time. it seemed as if only communication assignments were given as opposed to actually TEACHING us effective communication.

why is this skill not taught in high schools (among the many other important things secondary education omits)? from my experience, describing difficult problems and teaching others is great practice in learning the skill of communication. the key once you begin to understand what to say is how to convey the entire message in the fewest possible words (and in turn, in the shortest amount of time). being clear, concise, and detailed are very difficult things to do, and it takes practice.

check this article out from the NYTimes about customer service and communication (sorry, but it may require registration but it's free and quick)


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