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What is Communication?

in Communicating as a Leader

Ashutosh Ghildiyal asked:

Communication and it’s importance must be quite evident to each one of us.

Communication implies sharing, a sense of working together, to see the same thing, at the same time, with the same intensity. This happens when we are concerned about the same thing. This doesn’t happen when we take sides, condemn, or allow ourselves to become hostile towards an idea, view, or a fact expressed by another, which may be opposed to what we hold as true or to our own way of thinking.

In communication is involved reading, listening, talking, and writing. Also, communication involves understanding – which is verbal, intellectual and non-verbal.

Most of us don’t read or listen completely, totally, and passively, but read or listen with a predetermined attitude to agree or disagree/ accept or reject. This prevents communication with another. This is also inattention. This inattention is what causes all the reactions which prevent understanding or comprehension. When one is actually listening, when one is attentive, there is no reaction, no resistance – there is no mental movement towards agreement or disagreement. Of course, one may agree or disagree later, but first there must be only the listening. When there is attention, there is only the act of listening and nothing else. When there is inattention, the mind makes an abstraction of what is being said into a concept or idea and gets stuck there; it is this idea, this abstraction that prevents the free flow of communication. All this can be observed by us if we look at our mind and how it works – for it’s the human brain; though the content may vary, basically, fundamentally it is the same in each one of us.

Therefore, I think to understand communication in its truest sense, we must also understand how our minds work. Which means to listen to our own responses, reactions, how one reacts to either insult or flattery, how the mind tries to do something about what is being said, how it instantly moves towards acceptance/ rejection, and makes an idea of what is being said. Because then the idea is what listens, and therefore, there is no listening, communicating with another. It is imperative that one must understand how the mind tries to compare what it listens with what it already knows, or tries to translate/ interpret something. Translation/ interpretation is always according to something; and that something is memory, knowledge, previous experiences, which are ALWAYS limited. These are the basic processes of our mind which we must become aware of, because without doing that one can’t communicate. So, I think one should see all this and find out if there is a way of communication which is free of all these things. This after all is what learning implies.

The understanding of communication, what it means, and it’s place in human relationships is vital.

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