LESSONS IN COMMUNICATION FROM A PRISONER OF WAR
By NICHOLAS C. HILL(FIC FInstLM)
Communication is a human instinct. Furthermore, communication is human salvation. Without communication, not a single person can feel a sense of belonging, which is one of the basic needs of a human being. To develop your communication skills, please visit leadership skills courses Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, London, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Take for instance the story of Capt. Charlie Plumb—a US soldier who fought in the Vietnam War. This man was eventually captured and became a prisoner of war for almost seven years. What he learned during his time as a POW, although quite inspiring, is not entirely a new insight. Through communication, and his acquired communication skills, he was able to survive in the prisoner camp. He cited that his fellow POW’s were the main source of his strength and persistence to triumph over his ordeal. By communicating with his fellow soldiers, his human need to be validated, affirmed, and recognised as a human being more than anything else, fueled his desire to stay alive and to keep on living. What do we learn from Capt. Charlie Plumb’s story? From a business point of view, Capt. Plumb’s story only attests to the fact that communication can save a life. And if that is the case, it can very well save businesses too. Communication is what bridges the figurative gap between people. This gap is built by our unique and individual histories— those experiences which taught us our present beliefs and principles, and ultimately shaped our entire being. But communication alone does not suffice. For us to maximize the gift of being able to communicate, we must hone specific communication skills. Mastery of communication is not just about being able to express ourselves. More importantly, we need to acquire conscious and informed usage of our language and learn how to precisely and powerfully deliver our messages. These competencies are what separate a successful communicator from a mediocre one. While the former recognises the inherent potency of expression and the required tools to exhaust his or her potential, the latter limits himself or herself to pure instinct.
The below list is only a snapshot. To develop your communication skills, please visit management skills courses Exeter, Birmingham, Manchester, London, Newcastle and Glasgow. Here are a few principles to guide your communication skills enhancement:
- Specific language is what each and every communicator should strive for. Especially in today’s highly cluttered communication hi-way, the best way to get noticed and understood is to keep it clear, simple, and direct-to-the-point.
- Communication can be empathetic. When communicating with another person, it should not mean that you do all the talking. An equally reliable tool to get the most out of the exchange is to listen actively, and more importantly, listen with empathy. Listening with empathy means doing away with personal bias and prejudice and exercising utmost objectivity.
- Communication skills encompass questioning skills. After all, the best way to acquire crucial information is to probe with persistence and sensitivity.
- Honesty is never overrated. Communication, at least the most genuine kind, should facilitate an honest exchange. Both parties involved in the process should recognise this principle for communication – done otherwise it entirely defeats its purpose.
Communication skills are acquired through constant learning and practice. It is most recommended that one does not stop in his or her quest to master these skills. Communication is a lifelong endeavour, hence it only follows that it is a lifelong learning as well.
Nicholas C. Hill is Managing Director and Principal Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd, London, specialising in UK-wide public training courses in leadership and management development. Become a highly productive manager and influential leader today. Claim £100 off the list price on any two-day course. Promotional code: PASSION0213. Visit the website or call now to find out more or request a FREE consultation. T: 020 7993 9955 W: www.nicholashill.com