Communication is enabled by language and speech, but it greatly transcends beyond just speech. Little organisms that do not have the facility of speech still communicate and even sophisticated humans with well-developed organs of speech and sound still do some non-verbal, non-vocal communication majority of the time.
On the other hand, communication breakdown means any interruption in the transmission or reception of information between two or more people. The most tangible cause of a communication breakdown is probably an obstruction to the transmission of sound or sight. This is because speech and eye coordination form a basic foundation for effective communication. This occurs when there is a considerable distance between the two ends or when there is some strange external noise in the background. But let us see what communication means in relationships.
Communication Breakdown In Relationship
When it comes to communication in a relationship, distance matters less. Physical closeness is important though, but the absence of physical contact does not always mean there is a communication breakdown. Emotional disconnectedness is the first sign of communication breakdown in a relationship. It can be really disastrous to have two people in a relationship or marital union experience a communication breakdown.
This can occur even when they are constantly talking with each other. Recall, communication is beyond the words. That is to say, there is something more required for effective relationship and I am going to spill that shortly.
Communication Breakdown Over The Phone
Over the phone, we call this a break in transmission and commonly, there are some connectivity issues. But even with functional phone connectivity, communication and understanding of the principles of communication are essential for passing the message out within the shortest possible time. There is still one major ingredient of communication that I promised to spill out soon and that is listening.
Listening Is The Foundation Of Effective Communication
Effective communication is based on effective listening. Effective listening ensures the proper cyclical flow of information between two or more people. Listening ensures that you understand the viewpoint of the other person and communicate accordingly. By listening actively, you can actually send more than a thousand messages more effectively than if you were to say them with your mouth only. Whenever there is a deficiency of understanding in one or more parties, the discussion becomes just a session of blabbering non-comprehensible sounds. This can be avoided by listening more actively.
Body gestures and facial expressions are also very effective tools for good communication and their importance cannot be overestimated in any setting.
Communication Breakdown In Public Speaking
Communication breakdown may also occur in a public speech if the speaker does not employ the basic principles of communication. Listening and getting feedbacks are very key tools that must be employed for effective public communication.
Watching out for the response of the audience can send a great variety of signals from attention, to distraction, to tiredness, to worry, to confusion and so many others. Hence, you must always watch out for the physical and psychological feedbacks of your listeners to be able to convey your message appropriately.
One other major thing about active listening is that your listener or the other side of the conversation feels more inclined to getting more from the conversation when they realise that their opinion, response or reactions matters to you.
Let’s borrow a leaf from the story of lovely friends who desired and worked towards more intimacy than they already have. Peter was a young, handsome and committed man in his late twenties, 27 precisely. He was so keenly interested in Mary Jane, a beautiful young lady of 24. Mary Jane was naturally full of charms that lured and enchanted young men that beheld her. Just of average height, with full black hair running from her beautifully shaped hairline on her forehead, down to the back of her head and finally resting on her shoulders. She was that beautiful.
But then, the hanging hair was only surrounding an island of beautifully arranged features separated by indistinct boundaries but clear enough to show the demarcation; her both eyes, glittering radiantly as if she was an angel from the stars.
It has always been an unfruitful attempt to get her, for she claimed that she knew her worth. But here comes Peter. Just good enough to be his king in her dynasty of beauty. Peter was a little darker than her but taller and more rigidly built. He was just tall enough to see the scalp of Mary Jane when they are both standing. And for some reasons unknown to all of us, she loved that too. But the first day barely passed before they became lost in the tunnel of love, dreaming and thinking about each other. And soon enough, their first names were no longer as unfriendly anymore. Peter would not call her any other name than MJ with the accent of a king calling his queen. They talked on the phone for long hours, had close discussions, expressed how much they loved each other and every time together was fun indeed.
Few months rolled by, but now things were not the same again.
An imaginary distance was being created between them as each day passed by. But they still had their close calls, they still spent time together (although less frequently than they previously did). The gap became gradually more visible and eventually, their beautiful union disintegrated.
But that wasn’t all. They met a few years afterwards and guess what happened then?
Talking Does Not Always Equate Communication
There is no doubt that speaking is the primary means of communication amongst humans. Other lower animals have other means of communication that includes making of certain noises, releasing of some chemicals, making patterns, etc. The complexity of humans has also made it possible for us to communicate without speaking. These are non-verbal languages just like the lower animals, but in the case of humans, they are more sophisticated mechanisms of communication. Thus, enabling communication without actually speaking. The distinction between speech and communication is often not hard to understand but many people erroneously equate speech with communication. This may be owing to the fact that speech is the commonest form of communication amongst humans.
There can be active speaking amongst a group of people without a communication. Therefore, communication is a broader terminology encompassing speech and every other form of mutually expressing ourselves.
The Importance Of Communication
Communication breakdown has its consequences on our day to day activities and lifestyles. Areas including business, education, politics, social relationships and marriage are adversely affected when there is a break in communication. Many things can go awry if the problems of communication breakdown are not promptly tackled. Hence, the importance of communication can never be overestimated.
The impact of poor communication can be readily seen in a relationship between a man and a woman, either preparing for marriage or already married and living together. Several criteria have often being used including an adequate number of routine conversations in close proximity and/or phone discussions. But like I mentioned before, it is something more than just talking on the phone. There has to be a connection and this is made possible when both parties are willing to actually listen more than they speak. Then, for the last time, if you’d ask what communication is all about, I’d say again that it is about expressing yourself, about voicing out your feelings in ways that send the right message to whoever you want to send them to.
I am a seasoned writer, not because I am some genius but thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I curate the most content on this website; all geared towards making you a better and happier audience.