The Natural Environment Can Enhance Social Interactions

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The Natural Environment Can Enhance Social Interactions

Responsive conversations happens more in natural environment than indoors / Photo by Antonio Balaguer Soler via 123RF

 

Communication is the process of transferring information from one person or place to another. It takes place in different forms such as written (using printed or digital media such as books, emails, and magazines), vocally (using your voice) or non-verbally (using gestures and other body languages). Whether we realize it or not, we communicate every day.

 

Developing Your Communication Skills

According to a new research by the University of Manchester and Cardiff University,  conversations are more responsive in natural environments such as parks and gardens than indoors. To prove this information, the researchers recorded conversations some children whose age was between the range of three and four years had with their parents as they were walking in a park and as they sat in the park’s indoor education center. At this age, most children have a lot to say but find it difficult to coordinate with a conversational partner. The researchers found that the conversations in the park were more responsive than those recorded indoors. Dr. Thea Cameron-Faulkner, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Manchester says that the natural environment is what improved the quality of the conversations between the child and the parent.

Effective communication skills include active listening, giving feedback, asking questions, being clear and concise, clarifying and summarizing, having empathy and developing trust and rapport. The quality of our communication skills is measured by how well we can transmit and receive information. Developing excellent communication skills means having the ability to pass information accurately, clearly and as intended. This is a process that should not be ignored because it helps you build and strengthen good work and personal relationships in your life. Communication skills are required in every aspect of life, for example, when you are in an interview, you need to maintain good eye contact, when speaking to your audience, you should learn how to present your ideas appropriately and when you are having a conversation with your friends, you have to listen to them attentively.

The modern world is ruled by technology. A lot of people spend most of their time indoors staring at television screens, laptops, and smartphones. Companies are even holding virtual meetings over the internet. What they do not understand is the benefits they would enjoy if they created an opportunity to escape this technology and hold conversations outside the office. The following are the reasons why outdoor discussions are more effective than the indoor ones;

Reduces stress and boosts a positive mood

If you are a parent and you want to have the best conversation with your child, you should consider taking them to a park. The fresh air and the natural environment will boost the mood between you two thus making the conversation easier. Another benefit of having the conversation outside is that it ensures higher levels of attention between the individuals conversing and at the same time creating a greater sense of connection with other people.

 

Natural environment can boost the mood thus making conversation more easier / Photo by Inspirestock International - Exclusive Contributor via 123RF

 

It breaks the barriers between you and the other party

Walking in a park or sitting on a bench in a park creates a very relaxed environment. According to researchers, walking and sitting on a bench is less intimidating than staring face to face in an enclosed room. People automatically humanize each other when they see each other in an outside place. Taking your conversations in an outdoor environment also gives you the opportunity to talk about anything as you enjoy some fresh air.

Gives you new perspectives of things

Spending most of your time in the house or the office is very unhealthy because you will be glued to the screens. Instead of sitting in one spot all day, it is advisable to walk around as you knock down that conversation. The fresh air not only repairs your brain but also helps you to get a new perspective of the things around you.

Increases the energy levels and boosts creativity

Talking with your children, spouse, friends or co-workers in a relaxed place outside helps you to focus better. You also gain energy and nutrients from the sun. It also feels like a break because of the change of scenery. Both parties feel refreshed and ready to talk and listen as much as they can.

Barriers to effective interactions

There are many barriers to effective communications. One of the significant barriers that were discovered in this study is the ability to listen and respond to what the other parties are saying. In order to improve the communication process, it is advisable to spend a lot of time outside in natural environments. As mentioned before, excellent communications skills are critical in life. In this case, a positive parent-child relationship can help in improving the child’s healthy development and other long-term benefits. It is therefore vital to gain access to local natural environments anytime you want to have a good conversation with anyone. This study also emphasizes that the understanding of how the natural environment can influence good communication could be used to improve various services such as education, child welfare, and urban design.

 

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