Since the dawn of time, humans have found a way to communicate. Early humans used symbols and markings in the walls to communicate with one another. Then as humans began to evolve, spoken language became the primary form of communication. At first there was one language used by all humans, but eventually there became different languages for different cultures. In today's society there are many different spoken languages throughout the world, however, body language and symbols are still used as universal communication.
Verbal communication is the most complex mode. Since effective communication occurs only when the intended meaning is fully received and understood by the listener. It not only requires word knowledge, proper grammar, and understanding ways of delivering the message total communication requires a skilled listener. An unskilled listener is often the reason for breakdowns in communication. .
According to the SCAN report (Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills) published by the United States Department of Labor, listening is a basic skill requirement for any job candidate. The report defines listening as the ability to receive, attend to, interpret, and respond to verbal messages and other cues.
Other cues in communication can be such things as tone of voice, body language, or the use of symbols. .
The choice of words or language in which a sender encodes a message will influence the quality of communication. Due to the variety of languages in the world, misinterpretation often occurs. Often the same words will be interpreted differently by each individual. Many factors affect how an individual will interpret meaning to particular words. For this reason it is important to understand your audience and their background to properly convey your message.
Listening properly is the next step in the communication process. The purpose of effective listening is to convey interest and respect for the other person; this is crucial if we are to have any ability to help solve problems, follow directions, or satisfy the other person's needs and goals as well as our own.