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Importance of communication and building relationships

Hi everyone! My name is Kuwarjeet Singh Arora and I am a fourth year journalism student at the Toronto Metropolitan University. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Sam’s Effective Communication workshop. Here are the highlights and my thoughts on this session.

Every aspect of our lives depends on communication.

According to Sam, communication skills are about relaying information or a message. Nevertheless, it is also about building relationships, networking, or connecting with people.

Communication is the process of expressing your opinion, whether via email, a conversation or even a PowerPoint presentation. Communication's purpose is to relay information or convey a message. How you do it is essential, as depending on the situation, you have to think before speaking.

As a result, Sam provided some suggestions on how to communicate effectively. Make sure people enjoy the conversation by sharing information they are passionate about, being knowledgeable, and making it interactive. Communicating in this way allows people to seem more confident, be taken seriously and validate their abilities.

In every field, networking is essential. The relationships you build are influenced by that, as Sam mentioned earlier. It’s about the connections you make more than how many connections you have, and it’s more about having stronger connections with someone instead of just being there to increase the number of people you know. Humans are always drawn to what is known, making common or talking about topics that interest the other person provides comfort, thus making conversations more fun. Consequently, we seek what we have in common when talking or attempting to build a relationship.

Building relationships

My main takeaway from his workshop was about developing relationships. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has made nearly everything virtual, developing relationships can be challenging. In a virtual setting, it was almost impossible to build relationships with classmates and professors when I was going into my second year of university.

Being in a virtual environment made it really difficult for me to build relationships. In order to build a relationship, it is often recommended that you cold email people and reach out to anyone and everyone for a coffee chat, but Sam's tips helped me to realize that that is not always the best approach.

He makes a particularly good point about the quality of engagement versus the quantity of people you talk to. Following Sam’s advice, it may be better to use a strategic approach instead of sending messages to everyone you see on Linkedin, hoping that someone will respond.

Instead of building a purely transactional relationship, you might want to build a personal relationship with people who do what you hope to do. Rather than asking lengthy questions to appear impressive, Sam recommends asking engaging questions while getting to know someone. Taking advantage of the opportunity to learn something new from someone is part of building a relationship with them. Building relationship is like building blocks take it step by step.

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