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Ray Hull, an audiologist at Wichita State University, wrote a story for The Hearing Journal last year on the importance of honing your communication skills.

Podcast: Good communication is a valuable tool

Friday, July 26, 2013

This WSU Newsline Podcast is available at http://www.wichita.edu/newslinepodcast. See the transcript below:

You’re listening to the podcast edition of the Wichita State University audio newsline. Learn more about WSU on the Web at wichita.edu.

Good communication is a valuable tool at home, work, school or play. Ray Hull, an audiologist at Wichita State University, wrote a story for The Hearing Journal last year on the importance of honing your communication skills.

Hull: “In order to be a good communicator, we must communicate clearly, directly and openly. An important rule in business relationships, for example, is don’t expect others to read your mind, because they may be incorrect.”

The importance of communication shouldn’t be underestimated, according to Hull.

Hull: “Much of what we do in our day-to-day interactions with our colleagues, our friends, our clients, involves communication in one form or another. It’s imperative that we become familiar with the processes involved with interpersonal communication in order to become successful.”

The fact is, most of us aren’t as good at communicating as we think we are. Hull explains.

Hull: “I think the reason that we’re not as good communicators as we might be is that we have not had good models for communication, good interpersonal communication from childhood on.”

Hull says it should come as no surprise that those who communicate the best usually experience more success.

Hull: “The better we are in this aspect of our life, the more successful we will become. All else being equal, equal education, equal preparation, it’s often the basis upon which we choose our physician, our dentist, our favorite place to eat, our hairdresser, even our grocery store.”

Taking ownership of a mistake and admitting we’re wrong doesn’t come easily or naturally, but it’s an important step to take in communicating effectively.

Hull: “Another tip for good communication is that if we’re wrong, we must admit it. Sometimes an apology is all that’s necessary to end a potential conflict.”

Nonverbal communication can significantly impact effective interpersonal communication. Nonverbal expression can be as powerful as verbal, and Hull says it’s important that we recognize its effects.

Hull: “In regard to nonverbal communication, actions can give positive or negative impressions. This involves everything from our handshake to how we sit. Nonverbal messages can enhance or diminish how we communicate. We have to keep in mind that positive or negative first impressions are determined within the first two minutes of entering a room, for example.”

Effective interpersonal communication is paramount in meetings, interviews and presentations, when challenging policy with colleagues, or even when talking with patients, according to Hull.

Hull: “And we must learn how to present ourselves. We have to practice presenting our self in a calm manner, to make people feel at ease. We all know someone who has the ability to make us feel accepted and nurtured, which is a wonderful attribute to success.”

Hull says some people do not possess skill in interpersonal communication simply because they may not do well in attending to all of the sometimes complex events that can occur during such interactions. But in order to be fruitful in our daily interactions with those with whom we communicate, whether it be in matters of love, family, business, public speaking engagements or even political campaigns, it is imperative that we learn how to effectively engage in this complex, but important aspect of life.

In addition, Hull says effective interpersonal communication does not mean always winning; rather it means being able to create and convey appropriate responses, to identify and explain creative solutions that are acceptable to those with whom we are communicating, and to motivate them to positive change through direct verbal interaction, our body language and through a positive atmosphere of interpersonal communication that we create.

Thanks for listening. Until next time, this is Joe Kleinsasser for Wichita State University.

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Created on Friday, July 26, 2013; Last modified on Friday, July 26, 2013