A society of humans, streets busy with species walking on two legs and speaking in diverse comprehensive languages: this defines the human world in very simple and dry terms. This should bring to mind the possible existence of interpersonal relationships and communication of which we know exists in our society.
According to Skills You Need, Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication. From this definition, something is striking and that is the fact that is states that there is an exchange of information between the people involved. That is, there is information being passed from one party and then the other party receives such information and then passes information from his/her own side back to the other party. Once this is sustained, communication is sustained. This is possible because each party has something, information that is worth giving. Mind you, “worth” here should be understood in the context of the atmosphere of the communication: the aim, purpose and timing of the communication. As an illustration, if you are communicating with a business partner about a business deal you are both working on and then during the discussion, he or she suddenly begins to tell you about the misunderstanding that occurred between him and his youngest cousin days ago. Will you regard such information as worth sharing at that particular time? So, in every communication atmosphere, there are things that are right and things that are wrong and these things are defined by the atmosphere of such communication.
Back to what I was saying. For communication to take place, it means there must be information resident in the two or more parties involved and majority of the time, because we all have the faculty of thought, the mind, there is usually information to be shared. Its just that some information don’t fit some settings and then some information are not just worth sharing at all because they are usually of a nature that posses danger and negativity to those who might happen to receive it.
For there to be communication, there has to be information and for there to be information, there has to be a faculty, a mind that can conceive that information. Let me use two illustrations.
First, if there are two people who are in love and the man says to the lady: you make me so happy all the time! Now, the truth is that the man’s mind has measured up the feelings the man derives every time from the lady and summed it up for the man to peak out and then the sum is: happiness. That is why he says to her: you make me so happy all the time! The information here on the surface will be what the man says to the lady but the information the lady receives might go beyond what he says. She might try to see and feel right into his mind to understand why he chose happiness. She is not trying to be critical, she is just trying to put herself into his mind and keep rolling in his thoughts about her. Now, both what the man said and what she sees or feels in his mind will make her to respond “accordingly”, not necessarily to what the man said but majorly to what she feels in his mind. That’s why a lady or a man can give a negative response to a loving comment from his/her partner simply because he understands that such statement does not match up with the real thought in his mind according to what she feels which can be dictated by a lot of things. This is not the direction of this writing. So, we see that in that communication, there is a mind, there is the information and then there is a response according to the information passed and also information “received”. Information passed might not be the information received!
So, in that illustration, a communication will ensue because there are people involved, there are information being passed and received and then. The only thing is that, in that illustration, the kind of communication that will ensue might be on the positive side or on the negative side. If you followed very well to the end of the illustration, you would understand what I mean. The negative communication should lead me to the second illustration.
Two angry human beings will communicate based on the kind of information being conceived in their minds and the kinds of information that is passed and the one that is received. When one thinks of the other’s wrongdoing and then all he or she can sum up in her mind is stupidity, then she says: you are stupid. The receiver then responds accordingly and it continues. If after the whole communication period, they are told to sit and wrote down everything they said to each other they will be able to write almost everything they said, if not all. This shows there was enough information that was worth sharing in that kind of setting and they utilized it very well.
Having said all of that, we should take something tangible from there. Let me help:
1. As long as you are of the human species, there is always information
2. Information differs
3. How we pass and receive information defers
4. For there to be a sustained communication, there must be enough information and there must be sustained sharing
5. The mind is vital to communication
You can add yours.
For there to be the existence of and need for communication, there is also the existence of and need for influence!
Before I continue, let me also bring this to you. Another vital importance of communication is the fact that it ensures a void is filled and then it also ensures reassurance. How does it ensure a void is filled?
The fact that we all have information does not mean the information we have covers every aspect of life, it does not mean that the information covers every subject that there is. A saying goes thus: nobody knows it all! True, we don’t know everything; there is usually a void in one or more areas that need to be filled! Hence communication ensures that filling. When you are talking with someone about something, you might not know everything about that thing and the other person might also not know everything about that thing but you both know something about it. When you engage in a discussion and you are communicating, you both discover that what he or she knows well, I don’t know at all or I don’t know it well. What I know very well, he does not know at all or he does not know it very well. It is in that period of communication that you both exchange what you know and you both leave there with shared knowledge, both parties have increased in knowledge of that subject matter because that particular void has been filled.
When something is known, it does not mean you won’t have to doubt it at a point. You know it but you are still shaky on it. When you come across someone or people that say that thing to you again or you come to discuss with someone and the person shares that same thing with you again, you are reassured of what you know and your stand in that thing receives some strength and firm grip.
Hence, communication also ensures that voids are filled and reassurance is obtained.
In communication, you share something that you know, something that you have with someone else. In doing this, you are doing something in such person, something that in most cases happen to be long term in effect and this is what influence is.
Let’s just quickly go from verbal communication to communicating essence and life. Influence has to do with communicating life to another person. Communicating life does not literally mean you are bringing medically dead people back from their graves, it just means you are communicating values to them, values that can help them build their own lives, values that can guide them in building their potentials, values that can help them stand and stay strong.
You are not doing this only by “talking” but also by “acting”, I mean “doing” things. You talk and you do. When you communicate via speech, you back it up with actions and your focus is: the people! That they may get better! Your action is in two ways: you are doing things for them to see, I mean you are living by example and then you are also doing things to and for them, I mean you are engaging them in and with your own valued and valuable possessions (not material possessions but values). This is how we do things for people! This is how we live a life of influence: doing things FOR people so that they can be better, so that they can be great and walk in increase!
This is not easy for many because it entails living for them! I mean you are living so that others can get better! Self is not gratified, self is not elevated! “Wow! This is too much”, that’s what comes out of the mouth of those ones that find so much joy in remaining inside and this will take us to the last thing I will talk about and that is comfort zone.
There is a zone called comfort zone! Nice! If I am to break it down, what we will have are two different words: comfort and zone.
A definition of comfort reads: “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint”. Then, one definition of constraint reads: “stiffness of manner and inhibition in relations between people.”. So comfort will mean that there is ease within and without. I mean there is ease within oneself and also in relating with others.
Zone on the other hand will just mean an area, very simple.
So, comfort zone will simply mean an area where there is ease within and without. We created this for ourselves because we don’t want to go through the stress of communicating. That’s the truth. There is no country or state or street or house or farmland or area of land or a field or a room called comfort zone, its an area we create for ourselves in our mind, in our thoughts. Comfort zone is just that atmosphere of the mind where the thoughts are soothing and there are no worried or disturbed thoughts. When things don’t go well, we are quick to get our minds worried. Its typical of humans!
Many other children, friends and colleagues need you around and if you decide to hide in that comfort zone of yours, you deprive them of what you can offer. Others can be around to give it to them but the truth remains that you refused and it shows that you will refuse many others too. So what is your usefulness in the society? It is not when you attain a position of authority that you then begin to do as you are meant to do. You are filled with potentials as a human being and not as an office or position holder!
Your comfort zone deprives so many people of values. If our teachers and parents had hid in comfort zones, where would our trainings have come from?
Comfort zone kills communication and influence. Communication and influence delete comfort zone.
One deprives others, the other gives to others.