Communication is the backbone of all relationships fostered between people. The importance of communication is easily seen in everyday life. The way we communicate identifies who we are. It maintains and develops our self-identity. Whether the relationships we establish are serious or trivial, they can all be traced back to how we communicated with others. It also fulfills our social needs, and serves to bridge our ability to influence others. Plainly put— good communication is the key to furthering relationships.
There are three characteristics of communication that are important to be aware of when forging relationships with others.
At its source, communication is a measure of the emotions within a relationship. An exchange between two people can also be an indicator of the level of trust that has been developed within that specific relationship. People want to know that they can trust others with the information they are providing, and therefore are more likely to give more information if they feel that the person they are communicating with is reliable and ethical.
We are constantly sending others messages, not only through words, but also through our actions. Body language is a major part of how we communicate with others. It is important to be as open and friendly as possible when cultivating new relationships. If you walk down a hallway at work with your head held down, people will automatically assume that you do not want to be bothered. Making eye contact and giving a friendly smile will change you “tone” even before you have uttered a hello.
Once something happens, it cannot be taken back. Carol Burnett once said, “Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.” The way others interpret what you are communicating to them most likely cannot be changed by you. Especially with society being as technologically advanced as it currently is, words are forever. You have very little control of the effect your words will have on others, which is why it is important to phrase your words thoughtfully.
There is no doubt—good communication is the key to furthering relationships. How you communicate with others will have a direct impact on your ability to build and maintain strong connections. It is important to be conscious of the many nuances that accompany it, because It can open or close doors, even when you are not speaking.