What is the definition of communication anyways?
Here is the definition as per the dictionary.
Definition of communication
1a : a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior
- the function of pheromones in insect communication
; also : exchange of information
b : personal rapport
- a lack of communication between old and young persons
To me it is so much more. Communication is not just about people talking, exchanging information. Someone can be speaking and the other person is miles away thinking of something else, or not taking in the information.
Communication to me is not just about speaking. Its having the other person actively hearing the words and listening to what they mean. It’s about listening to all of the information the other person is sharing with you, trying not to interrupt until that person is finished with their thought process. After the person is finished what they are trying to convey, you take time to process the information and then in return can voice an opinion in a respectful kind way that’s been generated through your own thought processes. Of course it depends on what the conversation is about, if it is day to day stuff or a deep meaningful subject the process is the same. This process of true communication is hard and who’d have thought how involved it really is. It’s an art all on its own. It takes practice, practice and more practice. Trust me, I was and still struggle with this practice of true communication. My listening skills truly sucked, and had interuptitis frequently. Good communication is an acquired skill all on its own. I don’t remember them ever teaching this in grade or high school, maybe if you chose communications as your field of study, in university. I could be blowing out my ears on this just my perspective.
While doing a little research I came upon the website and little blurb I copied and pasted. Great site.
“Hearing is a passive process – like breathing – we do it without thinking. Listening, however, is a learnt skill and an active process. Our brains have to work harder to process the information that we hear and see in order to understand the meaning of the message. Understanding is the goal of listening.”
So the next time you’re with a friend or colleague take note when your mind starts to wander away then reel is back in when you notice. How hard was that for you? Was it easy or did it happen frequently? Ask yourself why? And the why really shouldn’t matter but for curiosity sake, maybe for you there is a reason. Notice a pattern if any. Do this every time you have a conversation with someone. Practice your listening skills.
Some of us have very busy minds and we find it hard to keep the mind quiet and focused on one thing. If this happens for you, try some meditation, sit it silence, bring your thoughts to the breath first, relax your breath and just watch as you inhale and exhale. Some people like music but I believe to learn to quiet the mind you need to go inside the body without external distractions. Keeping watching the breath, if the mind wanders and it will, gently bring the mind back to the breath, repeat when needed. Overtime when you find this working the next stage would be to bring stillness to the mind, quiet. Repeat the process the time between the chatter will grow further apart if you stick to it. If you still find the mind wonders feel free to contact me.
References: https://www.skillsyouneed.com and https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communication