You cannot not communicate!
While this statement may not be grammatically correct, it is totally correct in the real world of human resource development. Think about it. Anytime you're around people, it's all but impossible not to communicate. You may not even utter a word, but people "read" you all the time. And as we're sure you'll agree, the unspoken word sometimes may "speak" more loudly than anything else. So whether you're leading a group training session or are in a group practicing quiet meditation, it's a sure bet that you're communicating.
Ask a dozen trainers to define communication and you'll likely get a dozen different answers. Probably few words are used so often with so little common understanding. This chapter will first suggest a definition for communication, then identify some goals for our communication efforts, and, finally, build a chain of communication. Since communication presents a possible problem area for many of us, we will enumerate several barriers to effective communication and offer some techniques for helping us to improve our training efforts by improving our communication ability.
The dictionary and other sources list several different meanings for communication. Consider these:
The art or fact of imparting or transmitting ... facts or information communicated ... a letter, note, or other instance of written information ... interchange of thoughts or opinions: a process by which meanings are exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols (as language, signs, or gestures) ... an art that deals with expressing and exchanging ideas effectively in speech or writing ...