Communication is a key to success in many areas. Whether you are communicating at work, at home or at play, effective communication will garner more positive results. Technology has advanced communication methods to include fax and e-mail; however, there is still something to be said for a good old-fashioned conversation. In some instances, verbal communication has several advantages over written communication. Understanding those advantages will allow you to choose verbal communication when it is needed.
Verbal communication allows you to watch the body language of the person you are speaking to. Facial expressions, body language and other physical clues can help you determine how your words are being received. If you provide your thoughts in writing, you do not know how the reader is internalising them and cannot intervene if a misunderstanding takes place. Body language is important when it comes to verbal communication, and according to the Small Business Administration, understanding what your body language communicates to the world is important in verbal communication.
Verbal communication allows the opportunity to give and receive immediate feedback. In a face-to-face conversation, there can be an instant exchange of ideas. In addition, questions can be asked and answered while the discussed topic is still on the table. If you are asking someone to do something, verbal communication can expedite completion of the task because it doesn't depend on e-mail or written clarification for questions before it can be done. If you are in a verbal conversation with another person, you can ask questions to immediately ascertain whether your instructions, goals and desires are clearly understood.
In written communication, tone is lost. If you want to convey a sense of urgency, understanding, sympathy or something else, you will have an easier time doing so in a face-to-face conversation. The tone of your voice coupled with the words you speak will convey precisely the message you want to convey. E-mails, letters and faxed transmissions can lose the tone and convey a misunderstood message. For example, you may be perceived as angry or aggressive when in fact you do not feel that way at all. Your words on paper do not contain a tone of voice. Your voice tone sets the stage for the urgency of your words.
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