Communication- The Tool of Champions
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. – Unknown
Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success. – Paul J. Meyer
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Banard Shaw
To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others. – Tony Robbins
Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. – Yehuda Berg
Courtesy of www.brainyquote.com/lists/topics/top-10-communication-quotes
Communication is the key to success and having a richer experience in life. The best communicators and leaders out there enjoy and reap more out of life than the non-communicators. To express our needs and wants we need to learn how to communicate.
We need to learn from children. They are the best communicators out there. They never tire of getting their message across. Right from the time they are born they scream out loud. Once they get hungry or bothered everyone within range understands the kid needs immediate attention.
Children grow up and will nag their parents endlessly. They understand communication is key to their survival. We lose the import of this message when we become adults. The need to communicate is key to any guaranteed ongoing or future success in life.
Winston Churchill - 2nd World War Speech
A great speech- Winston Churchill Never Give In Speech extract from the ‘Never Give In- The Best Of Winston Churchill’s Speeches- Selected and edited by Grandson Winston S Churchill’
‘NEVER GIVE IN!’ Speech delivered on 29th October 1941 at Harrow School
For the second time as Prime Minister Churchill visited his alma mater. For the traditional School Songs an additional verse had been added in his honor to the song ‘Stet Fortuna Domus’:
‘Nor less we praise in darker days
The leader of our nation, And Churchill’s name shall win acclaim from each new generation.
For you have power in danger’s hour Our freedom to defend,
Sir! Though long the fight we know that right Will triumph in the end,
Sir!’ To the Headmaster’s dismay, Churchill upbraided him for the reference to ‘darker’ days, proclaiming: ‘These are not dark days, these are great days – the greatest our nation has ever lived!’ Thereupon he substituted ‘sterner days’ for ‘darker days’.
Almost a year has passed since I came down here at your Head Master’s kind invitation in order to cheer myself and cheer the hearts of a few of my friends by singing some of our own songs. The ten months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world – ups and downs, misfortunes – but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this October afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home?
Why, when I was here last time we were quite alone, desperately alone, and we had been so for five or six months. We were poorly armed. We are not so poorly armed today; but then we were very poorly armed. We had the unmeasured menace of the enemy and their air attack still beating upon us, and you yourselves had had experience of this attack; and I expect you are beginning to feel impatient that there has been this long lull with nothing particular turning up!
But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months – if it takes years – they do it.
Another lesson I think we may take, just throwing our minds back to our meeting here ten months ago and now, is that appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must … meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same. You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done.
Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist, certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.
Never Give In! Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.
You sang here a verse of a School Song; you sang that extra verse written in my honor, which I was very greatly complimented by and which you have repeated today. But there is one word in it I want to alter – I wanted to do so last year, but I did not venture to.
It is the line – Nor less we praise in darker days. I have obtained the Head Master’s permission to alter ‘darker’ to ‘sterner’: Nor less we praise in sterner days. Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days.
These are not dark days: these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.
We are Social Animals
Any history book that explores the success of the human race will touch on humans advanced communication skills. Our dexterity and range of communication skills separate us from other animals. We have been able to advance as a species only through our ability to communicate.
Our ancestors were not the fastest, strongest or largest animals that roamed the plains of earth. Our survival hinged on the fact that we operated as a group. To function effectively as a group, we had to communicate effectively amongst ourselves.
The closest we are to understanding how communication has impacted us is to study the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, the Amazonian tribes who live in very harsh environments. These people lives are a true benchmark and indicator of how our human ancestors lived.
Through the means of non-verbal and verbal means of communication they have been able to master their environment totally. They can eke out a living and survive through the generations as they pass critical skills from one generation to the other.
Modern Human Beings
Human creativity and expression has evolved through millennia. Our ability to talk a common language and read is what has enabled human beings beat other species in the evolution race. These advanced forms of communication started with simple rock paintings and evolved along the way.
Once human beings realized they could convey messages through written objects they started advancing the complexity of the drawn objects to convey more meaning and nuance to their messages.
The importance of oratory was recognized by the early Greek and Roman societies. The philosopher Aristotle, the politician Cicero, Desmothenes etc are some of the individuals who were recognized for their great outstanding oratical skills.
Our ability to write and the development of the printing press catapulted human creativity and ingenuity. This was further enhanced by the development of the post office system, telegram, radio, television and the internet.
Societies with more vocabulary, complexity and nuanced languages have been able to advance faster than societies with simpler forms of language. It’s a fact that the most prosperous communities have a richer vocabulary than the least prosperous communities.
Codified laws, constitutions and languages are the foundation of the modern nations and societies we live in. Scientific study and advancement has only been advanced through the written word.
Other Social Animals
Wolves and Wild dogs
The most effective hunting packs out there in the wild are wolves and wild dogs. Wild dogs almost have a 90% efficiency rate in their hunting forays. They achieve this through leveraging the power of the pack. One lone wolf or dog does not have the ability to bring down big prey.
The power of the pack combines the entire group’s vision, sense of smell and their endurance capability to bring down prey. Even natural predators like leopards, hyenas and cheetahs steer away from the path of wild dogs.
They understand the power of the group and the dynamics the group brings to the table.
Another successful predator is the Lion. A pride of lions is the most fearsome spectacle in the Savannah ranges in Africa. Lions are social predators their success is hinged on the fact they operate as social animals.
They are among the most advanced predators, they usually hunt as a pack with the lionesses doing the grunt work. A lion is not very fast and lacks the endurance for a long-distance chase. They usually rely on ambush to get their prey.
When they fan out for the hunt it’s very interesting. One lioness is left to mind the cubs. The other lionesses fan out and lay an ambush at pivotal points. Each lioness plays a role in the hunt which reveals they also have advanced communication skills.
This is where brute strength is reinforced by cunning of the social hunt.
Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Monkeys
Our cousins the primates are the closest to human beings in their ability to communicate in more expressive ways than other animals. They are very structured and live in highly social units with strict hierarchical order.
This had enabled them to survive in harsh environments which teem with multiple predators.
Why communication is vital
1. Building Trust
The most effective and efficient relationships are built on trust. Communication builds trust without constant communication between parties’ trust cannot be nurtured and sustained. Individuals, nations and societies only thrive on the notion that we have mutual trust across the board.
Once communication breaks down we cannot trust individuals, systems and institutions to work as promised then order in society breaks down.
Wars, family break ups, Divorces and most societal ills are caused by a total breakdown in communication. That’s why communication is critical in any individual’s lives
2. Managing perception, expectations and reputations
We live in an age where managing our reputation and perception is very important. We are highly specialized and interconnected. Our livelihoods depend on the good will and nature of others far more than individuals in earlier centuries.
Maintaining this good will and our reputation is a critical skill and asset we need to develop. The ability for careers and reputations to be ruined is very easy. We need to ensure we maintain sterling reputations to avoid the expense of rebuilding tarnished images and reputation.
The key to managing reputation is to manage expectations. Make promises that you can deliver. If you cannot deliver a promise be upfront and brutal about that. You gain more respect by stating this early enough in the relationship.
Communication is one of the key skills to maintain our reputation. We need to learn how to get attention, convey meaning and get our messages understood.
To ensure a prosperous and sustainable livelihood we all need to learn to communicate with people from all walks of life. The power of radio/TV and social media is built on speed of communication and reaching the masses.
The internet has broken down geographical barriers. Cultural norms still remain and we need to be aware of these norms as we communicate with prospective partners and customers over the globe.
We cannot assure and insure our prosperity without communication.
All marketing and advertising is centered on communication skills. We need to be adept and good at marketing. Those who can convey the value of their goods, services and products win the prosperity game at the end of the day.
4. Business Contracts and negotiation
Those blessed with the highest emotional intelligence and negotiation skills do well in the business world. Contracts in the business world are both written and non-written.
We will not be able to negotiate if we are not able to communicate and convey meaning to the other party. We need to know our contracts and understand the legal clauses and liability well enough.
Improving Communication Skills
- Listen and Focus 100%
We need to first listen before we speak. Listening is the highest communication skill we can learn. We are always told to bite our tongues before we speak out.
We need to ensure we really understand the needs and wants of other parties before we make assumptions we already know what their needs are.This is the key pillar in communication
To really communicate one has to empathize. Put yourself in the shoes of the other individual. We will not have any meaningful conversation or dialog with another party if we cannot imagine ourselves in their position.
Empathy lives beyond transactional needs and creates long lasting relationships
Bring energy, passion and drive to your communication. Make any of your communication moments memorable. We can only make these moments memorable when we bring 150% commitment to the table.
We all notice wen the other party brings low energy, passion and drive to the table. Listen to the most memorable speeches. They are delivered with total commitment. Even the dictator Hitler delivered his speeches with energy and drive.
21 days of effective communication: Everyday habits and exercises to improve your communication skills and social intelligence – Ian Tuhovsky
Leadership communication: How leaders communicate and how communicators lead in today’s global enterprise – E. Bruce Harrison and Judith Mühlberg
Speak to Win_ How to Present with Power in Any Situation – Brian Tracy