Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Verbal Communication

Anything that makes a sound falls within the realm of aural communication. Rather than mention all the things that people use to make sounds to communicate— I will concentrate on the spoken word which I call verbal communication.

With the invention of the telephone, verbal communication was divorced from visual communication which made it less personal and thus more misunderstood. Because we may not employ visual communication when speaking to someone, we may misinterpret what they are saying because we no longer have the visual queues to back it up. We then base our interpretation on our experiences which may not be accurate. Much of what we interpret when engaged in verbal communication is tone. I also find that pace, cadence, and content don't fall too far behind.

I tend to think that we speak in catch phrases that don't always mean what we want them to mean. We are creatures who like to mimic things. When we hear a given phrase we tend to mimic it— even though the phrase itself may be said many different ways. Because of this, people will tend to misinterpret what we are saying because we do not employ the appropriate variation to the phrase. However, there is one advantage to engaging in verbal communication— the ability to clarify.

When engaged in verbal communication and feel that we are misunderstood— we will rephrase what we say in order to be understood. It is this ability to know when we are misunderstood— or even know when we are misunderstanding someone that makes a great conversationalist.

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