I doubt that many would dispute what I am about to say, but if you do, please let me know. Motivation, preparation, clear goals, research and development, consistent action, and flexibility are the essential steps to success, but all – and I do mean ALL – pieces of success in life depend on our ability to do this one task: communicate effectively! Yes, the number one component to success in all areas of life is our individual ability to communicate well.
Communication is perhaps also the most difficult function we do for many reasons. I have always marveled that all people have two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth, and yet no two people are absolutely identical. Even “identical twins” have subtle differences. The same is true about communication; each person does it very differently. Our methods of communicating are as individual as we each are individual and unique. Emotion, education, environment, tone of voice, volume, facial expression, body language, and character…it all counts in communication. For these central reasons and so many more, effective communication is perhaps the most challenging of human pursuits.
Language is not communication; our respective languages are only the symbols – the common vehicle – that we use to understand each other. Language is a shared ‘frame of reference’. Most definitely, our effectiveness in communicating hinges on our use of – and our mastery of – language, but is not the core of communicating, as many people might argue.
Effective communication comes from our individual focus, core values, and the ultimate directions we take in our lives…perhaps our choices shape our communication once we are able to speak and begin to think for ourselves. Oddly enough, our communication level tends to shape our choices as well. Practice makes perfect (or as perfect as it gets), and we all tend to end up ‘learning the language of our lifestyle’. If my years have put me in the seat of a John Deere tractor tilling the soil of my farmland, it is most likely that the language and communication in my life is vastly different than the corporate executive harvesting the fruits of his business land. Our ability to communicate effectively is to meet the demands of our focus, our core values, and the directions we select in life.
I could write volumes upon volumes on the topic of communication. Entire academic programs are devoted to the subject. So many, many factors are involved in human communication, from the micro to the macro, from the past to the present, and from culture to culture…and beyond. Suffice it to say that for the purposes of the point I am making, this blog scratches the surface.
The more successfully we communicate in our daily lives, the more successful we make our life in all areas; it is the number one component for success.