There is no such thing as a naturally good communicator. We are not born with the skills to get our message to others clearly, these things are learned. Yes, baby’s do have the ability to do motions and make facial expressions and display emotion, all of which are forms of communication, but naturally, they are not the best. Think about when you see a baby crying. Why is he crying? Is he hungry? Tired? Hurt? Even though the baby is communicating that he is not happy with something, we do not know what it is. Good communication comes through practice and learning.

 

The focus here is on learning. Learning to be a better communicator. If good communication is not born naturally with us, we must be able to learn it, somehow.  This is something that is important to all people because we all strive to have our thoughts and ideas communicated effectively to others. If that is not a natural thing, we must then understand how to learn it. As people learn this, they become better communicators in their relationships.

As a communication scholar and a human being, I always wonder how I can share more of my thoughts and ideas, and how I can share them more effectively. As I try to make a name for myself in the working world now that I am getting closer to graduation, I want to be sure that potential employers see me as an effective communicator. So by learning this, I can understand how to accomplish it. As you read this, maybe you too can think about how being a better communicator can help you in some way. Maybe you can see it helping you build a stronger relationship with your significant other, or maybe you see communication helping you get a promotion at work.

John Grohol, the founder and editor-in-chief of the PsychCentral blog, said in a post that “better communication . . . starts with one person making the effort to improve.” (Yes, I know that it is a psychology website, but I think that the ideas he lays out in the article still apply to this post quite well.) Grohol is talking about idea that it is a conscious decision to improve and to learn how to communicate better. If you read the post, he gives 9 good ways that will help you communicate better in a relationship, I recommend checking it out.

Julia Wood in her textbook “Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters” outlines 8 principles of interpersonal communication. The 8th reads: “Interpersonal communication effectiveness can be learned.” This is saying what I have been describing above, that communication in our interpersonal relationships is not naturally occurring. That is, in order to communicate effectively we must learn how. So take for example the crying baby above. That baby will soon grow up to learn words and language. He must then be learn how those words can be used to tell others why he is unhappy. With language comes the ability to communicate more, more effectively, but only if you know how.

When I first started to understand the concept that effective communication is not learned, it hit me in a weird way. I had always thought that I can talk and write pretty well, thats all there is to it. However, in some cases and some of my interpersonal relationships, I am still (metaphorically speaking) a crying baby. I have not yet learned all there is to know about how to communicate my messages and ideas effectively. I think that if you can learn anything from this post, it is that you still can learn something. Interpersonal communication is a lifelong process that never stops or stalls. You must constantly adapt and change and learn new ways of communicating.