“The single biggest problem with communications is the illusion that it has taken place!” George Bernard Shaw. Geez he’s been gone for a long time and who cares?
In any communication both parties bear the responsibility for the connection we seek in communicating. In today’s world even when the communicator is good, the results are often mediocre at best and that result is because of barriers that have always been there to greater or lesser degrees and in the world of today for some new ones that are the result of our cultural and technological changes.
In general the speed of everything we do seem to be growing faster and faster as does the complexity of our daily lives. It is no longer about getting up and going to work and coming home to family and friends. It’s workouts before work to address the increasingly sedentary lives at work, it’s a mad dash through the fast food joint for a McMuffin or some other version of synthetic food. A race to the freeway to beat the traffic. Texts, emails, or phone calls on our way to the office which is an hour or more from home. Long work days and a reverse speed race to home to get the kids to every sport and after school activity imaginable so they don’t get the chance to self actualize while they are growing up and then cramming more take home work into the meager hours left before the rat race tomorrow. Like a squirrel in a cage. No wonder we think we have to and can actually multi-task effectively.
And that last piece of the problem is the resultant need to speak quick and listen fast because I don’t have the time for anything else. No wonder we don’t have the time to listen when someone speaks. As a result we are creating world where the usual spoken communication is a quick snippet of information responded to with an equally quick response both designed to take the place of complete questions, sentences and answers. Then throw some a few dialects in with it and who knows what anyone is saying. No wonder I never get what I want at Subway.
Perhaps we can live with that in our personal lives but it won’t work well in our professional lives and the cost of thinking it will can be immense. The end product is people trying to accomplish a goal or objective that isn’t the same for everyone in the mix.
And yet, the better communications works, the simpler, crisper and shorter it will be and it will be understood by all. Doing so requires thinking before we speak and listening when someone speaks to you. The techniques for doing what used to be common are rapidly disappearing and few know how to speak clearly or listen well. And yet those who master communications skills can be significantly more productive.
Getting from where you are to where you want to be as leader in career or business requires the ability to be a good communicator is a core competency in our New Leadership Paradigm!
Barney Kramer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 209 444 6549.
The first strategy session is on me and always without further obligation. Which guy will you be?