Dialog – Mastering the Art of Communication

Ask any writer, and you’ll soon be bombarded with lessons in the written word you never knew existed!

By M. J. Joachim

Dialog, the art of having true and meaningful conversations, utilizes a set of skills anyone can learn and master, if they take the time to practice them. Yet, in our current society, we are bombarded with messages to the point where many of us become overwhelmed and tune out. It’s not that we don’t care; rather, we are constantly dealing with demands on our time. Therefore, when we engage in dialog, it often lacks the essence of effective communication.

The Internet is filled with dialog. Between social media, the blogosphere and websites, people soon become swept up in the numbers, transformed by immediate response (thoughtful or not, doesn’t matter), and soon become inseparable from their gadgets that keep them connected. The obvious question is, “Who is everyone connected to?” The appropriate response is, “Anyone and everyone.”

Being connected is not the same as sharing dialog and mastering the art of communication. According to Leaders Communicating Effectively, “Listening is the neglected communication skill.” Is it any wonder, when everyone is so busy typing and texting their “dialog” at record speed?

Several barriers take place when faulty dialog comes into play. People readily complain about the fact that email and other remote communication doesn’t always adequately reflect their sentiments, even though the words appear accurate and seem appropriate at the time. That’s because the words lack the sentiment and feeling that needs to be expressed in the overall dialog, which when missing, easily lends to miscommunication.

This is not to dismiss the power of writing, which indeed can and often does transmit elicit and extremely impressive transcripts. Ask any writer, and you’ll soon be bombarded with lessons in the written word you never knew existed! Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), email, texting, chatting and following do not constitute themselves as literature and freelance writing documentation; therefore, they fall into the category of communication, as opposed to writing.

Dialog must be expressed, understood and reciprocated to be considered conversation. It should promote thoughtful responses, rather than quick acronyms that bounce from one wireless beam to another. Tone and body language are all acceptable variables in the conversation, each with its ability to add to understanding and promote misunderstanding in turn. Dialogis an exchange between two or more people in a conversation. It is a commitment to engage and actively participate with other people about a particular topic, event or feeling. 

©2011, 2012 All Rights Reserved Teresa DePoy

Photo Credit: freephotos.com, Photographer L. Howitt