Social Dynamics And Communication Skills
What do we mean by social dynamics? If we are to say that a society enjoys good social dynamics, it simply means that the various elements of the society adopt behavior patterns that maintain harmony and good relations among its various constituent parts. For this to be possible, the individuals comprising the society must have good communication skills. Good communication skills automatically imply that the individual has the ability to interact with the various strata of society efficiently. Good communication skills are imperative for achieving a high degree of success, especially in a country as culturally diverse as India.
India is a country with twenty nine states and seven union territories comprising of people having diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. This is evident to those of us who have traveled in a long distance train across India. Go into the office of any multi-national company in the country and you are likely to meet Punjabis, Tamilians, Keralites, Biharis, Rajasthanis and people from all over the country.
The most important skill one has to possess in order to be successful in a diverse society with cultural variations is the ability to communicate efficiently. Communication skills come in different flavors. Communication comprises of both the art of listening as well as conveying ideas, feelings and emotions verbally, through the written word, body language and so on. Even among a small group of children, the leader, if one were to observe closely will turn out to be a child who is adept at communication.
Take the case of a typical manager in an office with a hundred people. Assume there is a project on hand to be dealt with. In this situation communication skills become very important. First of all let us consider the most essential aspects of communication. The most important characteristic of a good communicator is the ability to listen. Listening helps us to understand the needs of the people around us. The ability to listen keeps us in step with several things. It helps us to get a clear picture of what is required to complete the task on hand. In addition, we are also able to gather ideas from all the stake holders.
A good manager, in this situation would first call a meeting of his subordinates and ask for their ideas. He would then do a brainstorming session with them in order to arrive at the best solution for tackling the various issues. In the brainstorming session he again needs to listen and also convey ideas clearly. The ability to listen keenly in turn helps us to convey our ideas properly. People who listen keenly are in a better position to understand the pros and cons of different ideas that have been proposed and as a result are in a better position to offer modifications.
Typically, in such a situation tempers get frayed and it is the job of the manager to maintain harmony in the meeting. For this he needs to regulate things properly. To do that he has to be a person well versed in the art of diplomacy. He has to be soothing and at the same time see to it that a consensus is arrived at without anyone’s feelings getting hurt badly. Body language also comes into the picture. The ability to send the correct signals to the subordinates to keep them content is a very important quality.
Once a consensus is arrived at, communication skills again play an important role in the execution of the project. The various individual tasks that contribute to the project as a whole have to be handed over to the appropriate groups. Communication between these groups is of paramount importance. Even while dealing with the peons in an office, communication skills are important. Unless handled diplomatically even the junior-most employees will refuse to do their job properly.
Another means of communication is through the written word. In projects there are a number of functional specifications to be developed and the roles of different groups and individuals have to be outlined clearly in the concerned documents. Good written communication helps people sharpen their ideas and get a clear picture of their individual tasks which in turn go to determine the success of the whole project.
Countries are magnified versions of offices. People with diverse cultural backgrounds co-exist in harmony in countries. So communication skills of the citizens of a country play a fundamental role in national well being. If the different constituent elements of a country, right down to the smallest unit – the citizen – happens to be a good communicator, then there will be harmony in the country. So good communication skills are not only important for a successful career but it is also important for national well being.