Unification News for April 2001

Communication as the Basis for Success

Diesa Seidel
April, 2001

Communication can have numerous functions depending on our individual needs and aspirations. My motivation for studying communication lies in the notion that communication is the basis for any kind of success. I believe that if you can learn how to become an efficient, affective, and persistent communicator then many doors will be opened for various opportunities.

Understanding and practicing communication enables us to accomplish our intentions and goals. In today’s world, individuals are constantly trying to improve their means of communication in order to be better business people, more respectable political figures, more suitable teachers, more loving parents, husbands, wives, and friends. As we can see, communication plays an important role in just about every aspect of our lives.

At work we are constantly trying to find new ways to reach out to the public in order to endorse a product or an organization. We are continually being challenged to find the most effective way to gain the liking and trust of the customer. In the business and political world there are multiple ways of approaching a situation. Producers can endorse their product through ethos (personal character), pathos (emotions), or through logos (logic). Knowing your audience and discovering which method will best sway them to your side is all part of communication. It is also imperative to be able to distinguish between socially acceptable and socially unacceptable means for advertising a product or for conveying a political viewpoint. There are many moral, ethical, and racial issues that we must be aware of in order to successfully convey our message.

At the family level, we must learn to establish healthy relationships with our parents, husbands or wives, and siblings. In today’s society the likelihood for a marriage to end in divorce has reached astonishing rates. If communication is the heart of any meaningful relationship, we can conclude that the average family needs to improve on fundamental communication skills. I believe that families build the framework for our society. Thus, I believe that every individual should establish an understanding for communication principles to better their family relations and subsequently to contribute to a more harmonious society.

Finally, every individual communicates in a unique way on a personal level. We interact with our conscience and our moral values in order to make daily decisions for our own lives. What we wear, what we eat, what we say, and how we respond to others, all express and communicate to society who we are and what we represent.

Aristotle’s model for communication is known as the canons of rhetoric. The canons separated communication into five categories: invention, style, arrangement, memory, and delivery. Today, they remain as the outline for many public speaking classes and communication disciplines. Motivation for studying communication today slightly differs from that in previous times. In the past, canons were solely used to aid in expressing thoughts for political and legal reasons. As we entered the medieval period, forms of communication expanded to letter writing and preaching. Finally during the modern period, communication was approached as an art, through presentations, through thought, and by acknowledging the receiver as a vital part in communication. As we arrived in the twentieth century, the scientific method became more prevalent. Scholars started to examine and explore the demeanor and reactions from the listeners to further help determine which techniques work best.

Communication has surpassed many milestones and advanced to a more profound understanding in our time. The goals and objectives of communication have remained the same despite new awareness and insights. On the one hand, as technology advances, our means of communication have improved dramatically, thus allowing us to communicate efficiently on an external level. That is to say, we exchange increasing amounts of fact based information that is processed as data. On the other hand, there seems to be sufficient evidence that there emerges an increasing need for improving communication on an internal level when we seek to build meaningful human relationships. In particular, communication between marriage partners and family members involves the spiritual dimension of our being where we attempt to share feelings and personal needs with our loved ones. Improving our communication skills for developing interpersonal relationships then becomes a necessary step for healing the present disillusionment in marriage and family life.

The development of the spiritual dimension of communication then becomes an indispensable agenda for our information and data driven society. External technological advances in communication need to be balanced by improved personal skills that enable us to share our inner life of feelings and values. It is such a balance in our practice of communication that will serve as the foundation for our personal success and for building a healthy society.

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