Effective Communication

Important for work and home

Communication is a two-way process of exchanging information.  Information is conveyed as words, tone of voice, and body language.  

How do we Communicate?

Communication is a two-way process of exchanging information.  Information is conveyed as words, tone of voice, and body language.  Communicated information studies have shown that:

  • Words account for 7%
  • Vocal tone accounts for 55%
  • Body language accounts for 38%

All communications involve at least the following:

  • Sender (the person delivering the message)
  • Message (the information that needs to be shared)
  • Receiver (the person the sender is communicating with)
  • Feedback (effectiveness of message)

Non-verbal Communication

Even when you're silent, you're still communicating non-verbally. These messages don't stop when you stop speaking either. Body language tends to speak the loudest.

  • Facial expressions
  • Gestures
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
  • Tone of voice

Causes of Cultural Barriers


  • Language is a way of looking at the world, and even skilled translators can find it tricky to convey complex emotions and concepts, which can lead to misunderstandings. Try not use jargon or slang.

Behavior and beliefs

  • In some cultures, looking someone in the eye when they are talking to you is considered rude, while in other cultures refraining from doing so is considered disrespectful.

Signs and Symbols (Semantics)

  • For example, the sign “thumbs up” is taken as a sign of approval and wishing luck but can be taken as an insult in some cultures. 

Communication on Social Media

Today many communications are digital. The intention of your message can easily be misunderstood.

  • CAPITALS are often interpreted as shouting!
  • Intent in your message is gone
  • The abbreviations we use are not always understood…

The three tips for communicating more effectively via social media are pause, paraphrase and probe.

  1. Pausing is essential because sometimes our impulsivity gets the best of us. Pausing ensures better quality, substance and grammar.
  2. Paraphrasing is good because it helps to make sense of multiple perspectives and helps to communicate the point you are trying to make.
  3. Probing, or good question asking serves to clarify and extends the conversation. Good questions usually result in good feedback.

How to develop good communication skills

  • Use appropriate volume for your conversation setting.
  • Get feedback from your receiver.
  • Have confidence when talking.
  • Make sure you're using proper grammar.
  • Try to speak fluently and try to make sure people can hear you when you speak.
  • A good speaker is a good listener.
  • Do not interrupt or talk over the other person.
  • Make eye contact when speaking and listening. 

Think Before You Speak!