Holistic Communication


Holistic Communication

“Because communication is an art, it must be deliberately, patiently, and carefully learned over time. Effective face-to-face communication is always holistic in nature, involving all the senses and the full engagement of body, intellect, and mental energy.
Communication is an exchange of information—a message—between individuals in such a way as to bring mutual understanding. Every message contains three essential components: Content, tone of voice, and nonverbal signals such as gestures, facial expressions, and body language. When all three work in harmony, the probability of mutual understanding is very high. If any element is missing or contrary to the others, the likelihood of successful communication diminishes significantly.
In any communication where human emotions and personalities are involved, nonverbal elements are more significant than verbal. This is easily verified in life. A friend has just lost a loved one. You want to help, to express sympathy, but you don’t know what to say. Quite often in a situation like this words are totally inadequate. Of greater value to your friend is simply your physical presence. A hug, a warm embrace, sharing quiet tears together—these simple nonverbal acts communicate your love and support for your friend much more clearly than could any number of fumbling words, no matter how well-intentioned they might be.
Research bears this out as well. Studies “in communication have shown that the verbal aspect—the basic content—comprises only 7 percent of the total message that we send or that another person receives. Tone of voice accounts for 38 percent while the remaining 55 percent is nonverbal. In other words, how someone else perceives and understands us depends only 7 percent on what we say, 38 percent on how we say it, and 55 percent on what we are doing when we say it.
If we wish to avoid misunderstanding, hurt feelings, and arguments, we need to be careful to make sure that our tone of voice and our gestures, facial expressions, and body language send the same message as the words we speak with our lips.
This area of the nonverbal is where so many people—and so many married couples—have so much difficulty in communication. Problems arise between a husband and wife when there is a disconnection between what they say to each other and how they say it. The wrong tone of voice can be “particularly devastating, causing an otherwise simple disagreement or misunderstanding to escalate into a shouting match or a hurtful barrage of sarcastic barbs fired back and forth. “For this reason, it would be good for couples to remember James’ counsel to “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Proverbs 15:1 provides another valuable bit of advice: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When trying to communicate with each other, a husband and wife should be careful to make sure their voices and faces agree with their words.”

From: Myles Munroe

vision, purpose, destiny,

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