I have facilitated quite a lot of workshops on the topic of communication recently. Well communication and behaviours to be precise. It's interesting that we spend most of our waking ours communicating in one way or another but we don't always succeed in getting our message across the way we intend. We don't always choose the best method to communicate by though and this can often be most if not the whole problem.
Technology has given us so much including the ability to communicate with just about everyone, any time and almost anywhere. You would think because we do so much of it we would be so good at it! But, no, we're not.
Emails and text take up so much of our time and can be a great way of sending a message to someone; they are tremendously over used though.
When human beings first started to communicate it was all face to face of course, probably little more than a serious of sounds and grunts accompanied with lots of body language. Gradually things developed into a language and as long as the other person spoke the same language as you, there was a good chance you would be understood.
When the good old telephone came along it was a huge step forward as you could then communicate with people miles away from you. It did remove the body language aspect, but we got by pretty well.
Now we have so many electronic messages. Cheap, easy and convenient to use. The written word does do away with two aspects of our communication though, two very important aspects, tone and body language. I wonder how many relationshps and friendships have ended because someone misunderstood the written word. I know of a few.
Even face to face, sometimes we choose not to speak to somone, because we may not like them or feel they should speak first. All this can have consequences of course. The other person(s) perceives us in a particular way based on our communication or lack of it and responds accordingly.
It's all so silly really. It's not that difficult to get it right even if the other person does not.
- If your reaction to something someone has written is shock, horror, or just negative, don't respond in the same way, call them up on the phone and talk! Better still arrange to meet them face to face (if you can).
- Choose the right method of communication.
- Improve your listening skills; really listen!
- Enjoy communicating, enjoy talking and listening.
- Email and text are great but they wern't designed to take the place of the telephone or meeting somone for a chat.
- If you ever email somone on the desk next to or close by yours, shame on you! Get up and talk to them!