Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Effective Communication

Arguments don't really come from the matter at hand, they come from a focus on one's self and how you feel about the issue, When how you feel about the issue outweighs how you feel about another person or group of people the chances are you will have closed your ears to reason and any attempt at discussion will fly out the window.

You don't avoid arguments, rather you communicate in a way that makes them surplus to requirements. So many people say they hate conflict, the words themselves are inflammatory and indicative of a level of anger, either at self for not being able to stand up and say what you wanted to say, or at the other person for having the words to say what they wished to. Either way the focus is on conflict rather than discussion or even mediation. Conflict is a failure of communication not an outcome of it, it doesn't often represent a true view or expression but becomes a battering ram on the part of either or both parties in getting their way. In any conflict there is an aggressor and a defender, which role do you find yourself playing as a rule?

One thing nearly everyone agrees on, is that when conflict arises the subject at hand tends to get lost in the heat of the moment, in social media we see, every day, those who dissolve without warning into name calling and belief bashing as a means to communicate their displeasure, while never really expressing what they want to see. It has become the norm to criticize and complain (usually with ample whining in various directions) rather than be solution seekers. It is easy to express displeasure but what are you displeased about exactly? Not winning? Not being heard?  If you want to be heard you need to learn how to communicate effectively, without rancour, if you want to win you will always be angry as winning requires a loser and when you come up against a better communicator the chances are you will be that loser. Not because they had a better education or a better point, you only have to watch professional debates to see that isn't the case, but because their words were worth listening to, they didn't get frustrated because they might lose the moment, and they didn't dissolve into personal attacks at the first sign of opposition. You see, opposition is not conflict unless you have to win, it can be an opportunity to explore all avenues rather than limiting yourself to the only possibility you alone were able to think of.

Taking an idea and building on it is the cornerstone of any invention or advancement, it doesn't have to negate the original idea, in fact it can't if it is to be the foundation of a new structure. The ability of communication alone to be the difference between success and failure is underestimated enormously the effectiveness of making even a small change in how you communicate has huge implications.


How you are perceived by anyone starts with how you look, but finishes with how you communicate, it is true the most successful people in the world are amazing communicators. This is the only reason anyone listens to their ideas, invests in their dreams and commits to them personally, not all their ideas were great but they are inclusive of others rather than exclusive, inviting comment, inviting new strategies and information and then building on those. Great communicators are not just great orators, they are great listeners, they listen to their colleagues, they listen to those who have mastered what they are learning, they listen to those who can build on their ideas. They are collaborators and mediators with the ability to use words to show you what you might become, they are inclusive rather than exclusive offering you a chance to be part of the dream. You can't get your way every day but you can certainly take something of value from every exchange.

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