Back to Basics: Verbal Communication

Posted: Dec 11 2014

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Communication is absolutely essential to human beings in all walks of life.

It is what makes both the home and business worlds go round, instrumental to everything from meeting new friends to closing business deals.

As social creatures, communication comes to us as naturally as breathing. There are some circumstances though where communication is vital, such as when working in teams.

In our experience of team building events, we have seen the impact poor verbal communication can have. That is why we take special care to encourage communication in the teams we work with.

To help you get a better footing when it comes to the complex and layered world of verbal communication, we have laid out the basics below.

Verbal Communication

Technically speaking, verbal communication refers to the delivery of a message using words in an oral format. For the purpose of this article though, when we refer to verbal communication, we mean speech; the actual words spoken and their intended meaning.

From early on in childhood, we are told to think before we speak because words are powerful tools, and this is something that stays with us all through our working life. What we say, how we say it and what we mean matters, whether we are talking to superiors, peers or clients.

For example, if you are talking to a team member about a sensitive issue, you need to be very aware of your delivery and choose your words wisely.

Similarly, managers will need to communicate things verbally in a clear and concise manner, whilst censoring themselves appropriately.

So, we know verbal communication is important, but why? What are the associated benefits and challenges?

The pros:

  • It is efficient and straightforward (providing those speaking with the opportunity to say exactly what they mean)
  • It is effective because the two communicators act and react to one another, in real-time
  • Using words face-to-face offers the chance to ask questions and clear up any confusion
  • It improves everyone's command of language
  • It is a form of communication open to everyone and anyone, whatever their literacy level

The cons:

  • There is no record of what was said, which can be a problem in professional situations
  • It can be misinterpreted or forgotten, causing potential issues if it is going to be referred back to
  • It is not always the most feasible option, either because of logistics, timing or cost
  • There can be barriers when the two communicators speak different languages or possess different levels of intelligence and understanding
  • It can get carried away; what starts as a professional conversation can quickly turn into idle chit-chat

Conversation and collaboration are vital to any business, so you need to make them a priority.

If you want to learn more about verbal communication and developing your team's dynamics, consider investing in a communication-based team building event with Team Challenge Company.

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