Communication - the key to everything
Ask any married couple who has a successful marriage and the word “communication” will come up as a key to a healthy, long partnership. Also, any successful business will use the word communication as a key to a thriving venture. In the last week I have taken two trainings on communication, each focusing on different phases and approaches. In the world we currently live in, communication should be so easy, yet we still find ourselves struggling. Communication with our spouses, kids, friends, bosses and co-workers is still a major obstacle in reaching our overall goals in life. Why? Why do we still struggle with this when we know it is important?
Cell phones, internet, blogs, Facebook … the list goes on and on, as to how we could effectively communicate. Yet we still see that communication is what is lacking with people on a day-to-day basis. Maybe a word to adding is “effective.” Are we really communicating to the best of our ability in a text message or a snapchat? Some will say no. As recorded and documented by many an expert, most of our communication comes from non-verbal communication.
Body language, eye movement and tone have important attributes in the communication world. Any training will tell you that. Let’s look at the movie “Lady and the Tramp,” a Disney classic. The scene where the two dogs share a bowl of spaghetti — there is so much non-verbal communication there. Without the characters saying a word, we see love, embarrassment, contentment. If we shut our eyes and play the same scene, all we hear is the music. Our eyes hold a key to communication.
In this era, we communicate almost entirely using a small computer that fits in our hand. We can reach out to anywhere in the world at any time and talk about anything. Yet we struggle with a basic conversation at work, at home or with a customer. Maybe it is time to get back to the basics. We need to stop asking yes-or-no questions and seek information that the other can flow with. We need to honestly listen to what is being said. Put down the distractions and hear the words.
Take an approach to caring what the other person is saying; listen. You don’t have to agree, but listening to their heart and understanding where they are coming from is what being a good human is all about. This whole talking and listening thing is pretty important to the survival of the planet. Yes, we must decipher what we are hearing, but that does not mean we shouldn’t listen. Yes, the speaker may have an agenda, but if you truly listen you will hear that, too.
Understanding the root cause of any conversation is like unlocking the gateway to great communication. With your wife, kids, boss, a customer and God, it is one of the most important things today. Writing a column about it is not bad either.