Communication is constant in everything people perform. It relates to people’s thoughts, emotions, and surroundings. There are various forms of communication, and each form is functional in daily life. The types of communication include nonverbal, oral, and written communication.
Over the years the concepts and forms of written communication have developed with the advancement of science and technology. In the past, methods of written communication ranged from pictographs, letter-writing, telegraphs, and telegrams, which have been effectively replaced by electronic mails, fax mails, and telephone text messaging. Communication can be defined as the process, which helps people produce meanings within and across cultures, contexts, media, and channels (National Communication Association, 2002).
Written communication is important in this aspect, as it plays a large role in the communication process. Most times written communication is the only medium, through which people can showcase themselves, thereby, proving decisive in transmitting information about themselves and other people. Person’s self-awareness, self-concept, and self-esteem help in forming impressions of speaker’s image in the process of communication. Effectual writing involves careful choice of words, as well as a correct, continuous composition of sentences. People encounter difficulties in written communication, as it is considered to be time consuming, and feedback is not always immediate. It is also easy to be discouraged in written communication, as faster methods are readily available. Although there was speech before writing, yet writing is known to be more unique and official than speech.
Bridging the communication gap and improving interpersonal communication define a person’s relationship with others. It is the aptitude of communication that determines the quality of people’s affinity and outcomes of life. To become a proficient communicator, we must be stimulated to improve our communication to correspond the three criteria. Appropriateness, effectiveness, and ethics are the criteria which make efficient communicators. Language is also an important aspect of written communication, as it affects how people think and to what they pay attention. The concept is called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis named after two theorists, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf (Littlejohn & Foss, 2005). Our language skills have to be improved to develop verbal vividness and accurately convey our meanings, thoughts, and emotions.
Most of the messages people send and receive contain a predominant feeling or affective concern of emotions. An effective way to improve our written communication is by structuring, identifying the audience, and creating an outline to help organize our thoughts. Since the process of communicating is to get a message across from the sender to the receiver, it is important we choose our words carefully, in a way they would not be misinterpreted by the parties involved.
In assessing our communication skills we used techniques, offered by Steven McCornack for the evaluation of possible challenges in interpersonal communication (McCornack, 2010). The assessment showed that our main gaps in communication comprise occasional inability to acknowledge attributive complexity, refusal to accept constructive criticism, and communication apprehension. Our communication skills can be improved by mastering the knowledge and skills of communication competence, including intercultural competence, effectiveness, and ethics. Gratefully, we can develop personal communication skills by taking control over communication choices and managing key communication skills.
The competence of communication defines the quality of our relationships, as well as relational satisfaction, mental and physical health, and higher level of professional and academic achievement. Ability to communicate competently will help us achieve positive outcomes both in professional and personal areas, as we will be able to pass on and receive messages more clearly.
We should use written communication to express ourselves, pass on our ideas, and connect with our audience as effectively as we can. Confusing words can create a wide communication barrier between a writer and a reader. The writer must also be wary of information overload, which usually leaves the reader confused and overwhelmed. We must always be sure to write in simple plain words and avoid the use of ambiguous and exaggerated language. A message should be clear, concise and contain relevant information not to lose its meaning.