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ICAO4U – aviation language The Idea of Full Communication

The Idea of Full Communication

  • There are 6 characteristics of full communication.
  • However, aviation communication is deficient in one of them.
  • That’s why we have to perfect the mastery of the remaining 5 in order to make up for the communication deficiency which is inherently conntected with flying.

Characteristics of full communication

The most up-to-date understanding of full communication we need to be aware comprises the following characteristics: correct verbal communication (speaking), active listening, openness for the needs of interlocutors, providing assistance, analysis of success and failure of communication in order to improve, appropriate body language.

As you can see, only the first two (speaking and listening) refer to language communication itself: coding the message in verbal messages expressed by means of voice (all languages, apart from the sign language, are vocal by prerequisite. Writing is just the graphic representation of language rather than its prerequisite) and active listening.

Then, there are psychologial-linguistic criteria which refert to the attitude in communication: readiness to provide assistance and actually providing it when needed. Also, the analysis of how effective and efficient the language instruments we have adopted turn out to be in actual practice.

So what it means for us

When it comes to the linguistic creteria listed above, aviation personnel is aware of the necessity to acquire appropriate communication skills according to the 6 ICAO asssemssment criteria: pronunciation, structure, fluency, listening comprehension, vocabulary, interactions.

Readiness to assist, providing assistance and efficiency analysis are also well represented although it makes sense to highlight their significance in reference to communication proper, not only assisting each other at the briefing, in the hangar or at the maintence check.

Body language is the criterion missing. For obvious reasons. However, not enough attention is given to the fact that the inexistence of body language in aviation has to be made up for by means of perfecting the other effective communication criteria. When discussing things on the ground, aviators’ (just like other human beings) communication is supported by the proper use of body language. Depending on which expert you listen to, it accounts for 50-70% of communication effectiveness.

In fact, Albert Mehrabian who was the first to break face-to-face conversation found that communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% vocal and 7% word only.

In the articles published here in course of the following days we will concentrate on:

  • what it means to speak well and listen attentively,
  • what the most frequent mistakes and/ or errors are and what they result from,
  • recommended ways to improve and develop skills.

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