Ever try to explain something seemingly simple and it comes out completely and utterly the wrong way?
For instance: this is an oval: . It is a circle, but it could also be an oval, and instead of recognizing your audience, assuming positive intent and giving yourself some much needed time to consider alternative ways to explain what is a seemingly simple concept to you, the person you’re talking to has mentally visualized this: while also becoming frustrated, frazzled and losing all confidence in your ability to be mentally stable.
But then you go back, and you try again. See, OVAL. I promise you it’s an oval. Then their brain starts to form around it a little, and the picture they see is a little less hazy, and a little more in the direction you were attempting. .
This is when, at least for me, one starts to feel hope. Like there could be a new corner to be turned. Even if it took years for the person to get to this hazy recollection of an oval, and your vision is solid and very clear, it’s a start, and that’s all you needed.
Here’s my communication tips for the day:
- Realize the person you’re speaking is human. Not Satan. Not an Angel. But a human. We make mistakes, we have feelings, we are angry and do stupid things. Cut your person some slack and recognize that no one wakes up planning to fail.
- Communication is 90% tone, 10% of what you say. Flapping your arms and getting angry doesn’t help anyone. Stopping a moment, recognizing what tone of voice you’re in, and trying to reframe the conversation helps.
- You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, your ratio of listening to talking should be the same. Listen to what I want to respond with. Don’t sit and think of your next statement or rampant fit. If you’re anything less than happy, I want to fix it. There are two sides to most things, and we need to work together to fix it – and that takes give and take, talk and listen.
- Be neither a filibuster nor an interrupter. Going on and on and on for ten minutes ranting and raving gets nobody anywhere. Snipping someone off mid thought doesn’t do anyone any good either.
- Learn your audience. Sometimes we have to repeat ourselves to be heard. That does not mean the same words in the same way. Nor do I need spoken to the way that ignorant people speak to non-English speakers – loud or with hand gestures. Learn what words speak to me, or how. Do I respond better to examples or theoretical situations? When you take breaks in our chats to give me a minute to absorb and respond is it better than when I’m speaking in the heat of the moment? Learn this, use it, get better results.
- Recognize when it’s not the oval anymore. Sometimes, we actually have to see it as a scribble. Accept that we’re wrong, and move forward. Maybe it’s not an oval or a scribble, maybe it’s something in between.
Here’s to hoping that you get the whole picture.