The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Are we losing the art of communication?
This week alone I have encountered at least six different examples of situations that would have been handled better with face to face communication than via email or text message. Each of these situations ended up creating more of an issue than they solved and required extensive communication just to get back to a basic place. In each of these cases it was hard to see how zipping off an email actually saved time. I saw the below in an article I read this week and it resonated with me.
Work on understanding the person you are speaking with. In many discussions and meetings, people rush to get their point across without first listening to what someone else has to say. This can instantly cause the other person to feel defensive. Listening is key.
Be sincere. Learn to be patient and understand the ideas of those you are speaking with.
Establish individual goals. Know that your goals and objectives may differ from those you are speaking with. Make it clear that you understand their goals and communicate yours to them as well.
Although this is pretty simplistic and communication is rarely this simplistic, take a moment and think about your communication style. We have had a ton of change in the last month with a new computer system. Many of us have been communicating from a place of frustration and anger. How has that impacted your team? How are you responding to those frustrations and anger? Is it with more frustration and anger or with compassion and understanding? I am often reminded that the only reaction you can control is your own. I admit I find that just as challenging as the next person! So, over this next week I challenge you to select at least one email that you are getting ready to send and delete it. Set up a time and go talk to the person. I am positive you will actually save time and may even feel better in the process! J
Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. ~ Yehuda Berg
-Amy McDaniel, Belmond CEO