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Effective Communication: Leveling, Listening and Validating

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            The term communication embraces a very wide range of situations including the skills of public speaking, debating, discussing, listening, counseling, mediating, negotiating, teaching and marketing (Caputo, Palosaari, Pickering 2003). There are also a number of different public speaking venues that fall under the category of Speech. However, for the purpose of this essay, I will concentrate on effective communication in the areas of leveling, listening, and validating.

            Leveling suggests that all parties involved in the process of communication are on the same ‘page’ and have all the information needed to communicate effectively.

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It is also the telling of all information necessary to have a conversation which is beneficial to all parties involved. Information is power and the method of delivery is the driving force behind that power. If there is an unequal flow of information, power concerning the conversation is one-sided. To share equal power, the field has to be level.

            This does not imply that the amount or quality of information one party has is less than the other, rather it is an equal sharing of information.

In a recent survey of recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees, communication skills were cited as the single most important decisive factor in choosing managers. The survey, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School, points out that communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factors contributing to job success (www.mindtools.com).

 Mindtools.com expends a great deal of energy into an electronic formatted book to cover the importance of effective communication. Communication can be disrupted simply due to the stages it passes through to complete its designed use. The sender sends a message through a designated channel before it reaches the receiver. A number of things can hinder the receiver’s ability to comprehend the message. If the message is received without hindrance, then feedback is the next logical step in the process. The receiver sends information back to the sender in an effort to keep the process flowing smoothly. Without a level field of communication as a foundation to build upon, the communication will be lost in translation. This is why listening is so important. The receiver must be able to not only hear the message, but also needs to comprehend it. This is only accomplished through listening.

The skill of listening involves each party to carefully hear the message. People learn social behaviors by watching someone else do them first, practicing them and refining them until they can be used to obtain good results (www.schizophrenia.org).

To be effective communicators, the skill of listening is imperative. One of the largest inhibitors for students is often mental block. While listening, a student suddenly decides that he or she doesn’t understand what is being said. At this point, many students just tune out or get caught up in an internal dialogue trying translate a specific word. Some students convince themselves that they are not able to understand spoken English well and create problems for themselves (Beare, The Challenge of Teaching Listening Skills, www.about.com).

The tools that are in a repertoire of communication are all without merit if listening skills are low. Successful university students are made successful in direct correlation to their skill level of listening. According to Larry Alan Nadig, a clinical Psychologist, there are three basic listening modes: Competitive, Passive and Active. Competitive listening is a pretence of listening only for the purpose of interjecting and interrupting the sender in his message. Passive listening involves interest in the message, but with no response. Active listening involves interaction once the message is received (Three Basic Listening Modes www.drnadig.com/listening.htm).

It is interesting to learn that ineffective communication is the most common barrier in the breakdown of marriages and families. The familiarity of surroundings, including people, can cause a barrier to be produced subconsciously that will slow down or even stop the growth of communication. Listening is the best tactic for helping others cope with daily life. Sometimes people are just looking for a sympathetic ear and really do not intend the receiver to respond. Effective listening enables the receiver to understand that important skill in the communication process. This action is seen as validating the message without even saying a word.

Validation adds an emotional quality to communication. It is the act of relaying verbal and nonverbal communication. The feedback phase of communication is the most appropriate place for validation to happen.

“…relationship(s) will be better because with more validation there will be less debating, less conflicts, and less disagreement. Also, it is found that validation opens people up and helps them feel free to communicate. In fact, if there is a communication breakdown, if there is a wall between communication partners, it probably has been built with the bricks of invalidation. Validation is the means of chipping away at the wall and opening the free flow of communication (Freedman, http://www.6seconds.org/news/2004226.html).

Mr. Freedman has a very strong argument concerning how the receiver can offer effective feedback thus making the process of communication successful. Emotion can be the breaking point of any conversation. The lack of it can give the impression of not caring, however, the over-emphasis of it has the opposite effect on an extreme level which makes the receiver seem pretentious. Validation is really a set of checks and balances. With the message is received, the receiver has the choice of how to respond. Since it is impossible to be emotionless, validation becomes a vital part of the communication process.

Not showing any emotion is an emotion in itself. Stoicism is considered by some to be the lack of emotion, but as it related to communication, it is actually a very effective emotion in a negative sense. Just as validation is a regular part of mathematics and science, it is also the part of the communication process by which the level of success is measured. For example, If a male enters a room filled with females, his facial features will validate what his mind is thinking. This may or may not be readily seen by the females. If the man is introverted, the validation will be evident by his shrinking into a corner of the room away from the females. On the other hand, if he is extroverted the evidence will clearly validate his thoughts.

Validation Fundamentals: How to, What to, When to Validate is a book designed to cover validation in medical studies. William Gibson offers a life-cycle of validation in this book. In this life cycle there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. It should develop and progress along systematic and meaningful paths (Gibson, p 6). Although he is speaking of a different profession, his idea works for the communication process. The validation of information is inevitable and will not cease to take place. The very act of not responding to a message is validation of that message. Many people have written on this subject in the past, and have used a phrase that fits here: “you cannot not communicate.” This is a law, in a sense, that all intelligent beings will not be able to avoid. It’s like bragging that you are not prideful when the fact of bragging demonstrates pride.

At times, the level field of communicating compels listening which will be followed by validating. These three aspects of communication are a good representation of communication in general. To limit yourself to these three only would be tragic. Communication is the excitement of sharing information for the express purpose of learning. It may not be in a classroom on a campus somewhere in the world, but wherever you are communication is the most vital part of daily activities. It behooves all to practice, practice, practice.

References

Caputo, John. Et al. (2003). Effective Communication Twickenham, England: Dramatic Lines Press.

Why Communication Skills are so Important. (2007). Retrieved 13 April 2007 from, http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/CommunicationIntro.htm

Effective Communication. (n.d.). MI Fact Sheet Series.  Retrieved 13 April 2007 from, http://www.schizophrenia.org.au/pdfs/Effective%20Communications.pdf

Beare, Kenneth. (2007). The Challenge of Teaching Listening Skills. English as Second Language. Retrieved 13 April 2007 from, http://esl.about.com/cs/teachinglistening/a/a_tlisten.htm

Nadig, Larry Alan. (2006). Three Basic Listening Modes. Tips on Effective Listening. Retrieved 13 April 2007 from, http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm

Freedman, Josh. (n.d.). Emotional Validation. Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved 13 April 2007 from, http://eqi.org/valid.htm

Gibson, William. (1998). Validation Fundamentals: How to, What to, When to Validate. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press

 

Cite this Effective Communication: Leveling, Listening and Validating

Effective Communication: Leveling, Listening and Validating. (2016, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/effective-communication-leveling-listening-and-validating/

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