Understanding Communications with Dr Jana Heilmaier

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What makes a person a good communicator?
This is a very old question, but it is always in fashion. Communication shapes a person and the society.

Dale Carnegie (1988) said it all in two sentences: “We communicate with the outside world only on these four ways: What we do, What we say, How we say it and How we look like”.

Generally speaking – good communication is a puzzle of complex verbal and non- verbal behaviour. A good communicator uses the power of eye-contact; has a firm, cordial handshake; a positive facial expression; uses his/her body language and posture; the knowledge of dress code; and of course, listens. It is more important to ask questions than to give answers. Often people are focused on their big “I” and forget the other side’s “I”. Good communicators consider this to make others feel good, they build relationships. This makes people charismatic!

Communication (“communicare”, latin) means to share, for me it is like a tennis game. When the player is not focused anymore, he loses the ball; and the partner loses the interest in continuing. Good communication means security on a social level and success on a personal and professional level.

Why do you think that we are more connected through technology today than ever before and yet, are talking less to our spouses, families and people around us?
We don’t wait two weeks anymore for a letter from the postman to arrive, we send a whatsapp, sms or an email and these reach the recipient in one second. Fantastic!

The modern society lives a very quick life through the influence of technology. This is the other side of the coin. People use whatsapp groups to quickly delegate obligations within the families or to communicate easily. We speak automatically less.

Most of us relax in front of the computer, television, FB, etc. and avoid talking because it is more comfortable to be entertained. We forget even to hear our own voices, it sounds sometimes strange when we call someone.

How do we use modern technology to our advantage rather than being enslaved by it?
Yes, a good word “enslaved”. I see even in restaurants teenagers, adults, also couples focused on these little screens, heads down, busy with typing, mobiles on the table.

We communicate basically online and prefer to chat or to sms etc. rather than make a phone call.

It is definitely better to make a quick phone call in order to explain something than to send a long whatsapp chat or and sms. Modern technology like everything in life has its own pros and cons. It is designed to make our daily life easier and also to give us a substitute for the traditional communication tools.

For example, nowadays an email is a substitution for a telephone call. We always feel the emotion on the other side. Never send an important email without a positive feeling! The other side will feel it.

This article was published in the Apr-Jun 2016 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!


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Dr. Jana Heilmaier was leading the International Group at the Ministry of Germany; is a member of the Luxury Society; and is also a founder of two organisations for political, cultural and economic collaboration. Jana works with the German Chamber of Commerce and teaches at the UBD. She is a noted art and antiques collector and an expert in contemporary arts.