Is Communication competency a skill or an art?
Communication competency is a skill that relies on a combination of behavior and knowledge. To communicate effectively, you will need to understand cultural diversity, have good language skills, listening and interpersonal skills. According to David Morley’s essay, “Communication”, states that all communication refers to the activity of imparting, or transmitting messages containing, information, ideas, or knowledge. With communication you can earn the respect from thousands of people all due to the way you bring your message across.
People with a clear vision and the skills to communicate that vision with the passion that makes them contagious become leaders. Leaders such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and Adolf Hitler radiate true inspiration and charisma. These great leaders were groomed from a very young age. Napoleon the first learned quickly the influence of the media and in 1793 published a prorepublican pamphlet, “ Le Souper de Beaucaire “. He also founded two newspapers both for the troops in his army and also for circulation in France.
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His strict censorship and control from every aspect of the press, allowing the public to see what he wanted them to see. Alan Forrest in the, “Propaganda and the Legitimation of Power in Napoleonic France” explains how Napoleon fostered an important relationship with the art community. In doing this he forms an active role in controlling all forms of art production to suit his propaganda goals. Propaganda is an assertion of enthusiastic or energetic statement presented as a fact. Propaganda is a skilled form of communication that has been repeatedly used throughout history.
Body language is non-verbal communication such as body posture, gestures, facial expressions and eye movements. The gestures or movements in which a person conscious or unconscious communicates their thoughts or feelings. Albert Mehrabian’s studies came to two basic conclusions. The first is three basic elements in face-to-face communication; words, tone of voice, and nonverbal behavior (facial expressions). The second conclusion was how the person non-verbally match what is being said. Non-verbal cues are very mportant in conveying the message that the speaker is trying to give. Mehrabian’s studies linked the effect of three elements to communication: Words = 7%, Voice = 38%, and body language = 55%. Knowing this and reflecting back, Hitler was a highly skilled and effective speaker. He had a strong emotional persistence of purpose in his speeches. He would actually practice his speeches and new what hand gestures went where to make the best emphasis. Watching the videos of his speeches without tone lets you see the power in his body language.
With tone you can hear the different vocal tones and emotion he used to convince the public. Hitler was mentored by Dietrich Eckart, one of the early founders of the occult Thule Society, and was taught politics. He learned how to use communication to get the public motivated and moving the direction he wanted them to go. He was able to turn an entire nation around, giving them a will to survive, to prosper making him a successful leader. Hitler was not a good person, but was a great Leader.
A man like Alexander the Great through the teachings of the great philosopher Aristotle, was able to inspire keeping his army active and loyal using his excellent communication skills. This education built a strong emotional appeal (pathos) credibility of the speaker (ethos) and logic (logos). Giving him the intelligence to influence the audience to action. Rhetoric is the skill in the effective use of speech or writing as a way to persuade or influence people. Aristotle explains it best in the book, “Rhetoric” (trans. W. Rhys Roberts. :4:1359), who considers it a counterpart of both logic and politics, and calls it "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion". Rhetoric has been taught in universities during the middle ages and had influence within the church. Looking back through history we can see how the skill of communication has influenced the society. These men where able to take a handful of ideas, multiple language skills and transform them into a ceremony of communication. All of these men were very skilled in communication.
When we look at these leaders, their education, their lives, and all the people that where constantly around them. We can only come to the conclusion that ‘Skill’ was the deciding factor of their success. The communication process requires multiple skills in interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, and analyzing gestures. Communication is only complete when the listener understands what the speaker is trying to say. Misunderstandings are corrected by questions and answers, strategically placed examples or stories, follow up through critical thinking and feedback.
Communication competency is a skill of getting your message across, through the background noise of culture. Using the appropriate words, preventing misunderstanding, understanding the audience, showing empathy, and communicating enthusiastically. Yes, Communication competency is a skill.
- Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia http://en. wikipedia. org/
- David Morley’s essay, “Communication”.
- “Rhetoric” by Aristotle 350 B. C. E. (trans. W. Rhys Roberts. 1:4:1359)
- Mehrabian, Albert 1971. (Silent Messages)
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