What is communication?

Communication breakdown is not always the same. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

It is the hardest simple thing you will ever do.

That is why communication failure is at the root of many ills.

And, yet, in our hearts and minds we human beings believe that communication is an ordinary, ever-day act—as natural to us as breathing.

Well, what if your communication strategy has emphysema?

Think about this: homo sapiens is older than words, by many thousands of years. We evolved to communicate without a verbal language.

Emotion, gesture, posture, and facial expression trump verbal communication. We need these so much that in the age of social media we have found ways to interpolate them.

Every face is an open book.

Our communication styles vary. We each have a language of our own. Asperger syndrome is a communication style. The language of poetry is another.

Understand, and be understood. This, in a phrase, is the goal of all communication.

Relationships, marriages, and politics all depend upon effective communication.

Businesses fail when their internal and external communications are shoddy.

The work of managing internal communication is Organizational Development.

The work of managing the effective, bi-directional flow of information is Public Relations.

The work of understanding your audience’s needs and perceptions is Marketing.

Figure 1: the three modes of communication

Figure 1

Do you understand yourself and your communication style? Do you understand the audience? Are you a seller speaking the language of sellers, when you should be speaking the language of buyers? Do you have the right message for the wrong audience, or the wrong message for the right audience?

What does communication mean to you, and to your business?

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