“You can’t get what you want without speaking!”
These two phrases were my father’s constant reminder to me when I was growing up. I was meek. As an introvert, I preferred people to leave me alone as much as possible. I also wanted them to just know what I want and not want without me saying anything.
It wasn’t that I was terrible at communicating. I was communicating very well–just not verbally or in writing. I was communicating with my thoughts–in the environment that I was in–the mountains. I was communicating with the elements, not to people. Which was perfect for me.
I could understand people just by paying attention, watching their body language, listening to everything they say and piecing them together for full understanding.
When both parents passed on, I was forced to depend on myself to communicate what I want–using words. I had to learn to communicate–in the real world. It was the most difficult and challenging experience that brought me to constant tears. I wish to god I could just go on living without having to deal with force communication.
It took a simple communication course at a church to make me realized that I need to master communication if I want to live a fruitful life.
So am I a perfect communicator? No. I am constantly learning, practicing, and improving–daily.
Communication–effective communication is a highly valuable skill.
It can open up a whole new world for you. It can also prevent you from achieving happiness if communication is faulty or inadequate. In other words, it can make or break your business and life.
Have you ever been the victim of bad communication?
I have. Almost every day.
Let me give you a business example of how prevalent bad communication is in our society.
I received a check two months ago, which I needed to deposit. So I made the trip to the bank, and lucky me, the automated machine was down. It must have known I was coming! So I patiently lined up to see the teller for an exciting conversation.
Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: “I need to deposit this check please.”
Teller: “Sure thing. How much would you like to withdraw today?”
Me: “Huh? Withdraw? I don’t want to withdraw.”
Teller: “So you don’t want to withdraw? Just deposit?”
You’re probably thinking… what’s the big deal?
But imagine I was in a hurry, frustrated with the out of service ATM, and having to waste 10-15 minutes in line, while my kids are arguing in the waiting car…the result would be volatile.
What is clear here is that the teller did not duplicate (receive it as it is–word for word) and understand my clear communication. Her ability to receive short and clear communication wasn’t that good. She added her assumption to it.
Now let’s create a different scenario.
Me: “I don’t understand why the ATM is not working and the line up is way too long and I have screaming kids in the car!”
Teller: “I am sorry, the machine is out of service right now and we have the mechanic on call. I can’t do anything about that. And we do try to keep the line moving but today is a busy day. By the way, you shouldn’t be leaving the kids in the car? How old are they?”
You can imagine what kind of conversation it is and the outcome.
Communication is a two-way flow. It is the responsibility of both parties to ensure the communication is smooth and goal-oriented.
To achieve this goal, one must fully understand the IDEAL COMMUNICATION scenario–as the base for all communication.
Communication is the ability to express your thoughts and ideas across to someone or something as clear and as pleasantly as possible so it is well received with an intended outcome of being duplicated and understood.
To communicate well, it is our job to make sure the communication is clear without unnecessary negative emotion attached to it, so it can easily be received by the recipient. Short enough to be assimilated and clear enough to be duplicated and understood.
That takes skill!
Skills that can be learned.