Taking the Time to Communicate

         ‘If you start a conversation with the assumption that you are right or that you must win, obviously it is difficult to talk.’ 

Wendell Berry

Communication is an interesting subject.  Something we all know about, participate in and may or may not think we are pretty good at.  It is a complex matter.  Or have we made it more complex than it has to be?

When I was a kid the only way you could communicate with another person was face to face, by telephone (no mobiles), or write a letter.  No instant messaging, no Skype or Zoom.  Sometimes you just had to wait to get an answer for something.

Communication has numerous purposes driven by a particular motivation to achieve a desired result.  There is a message we want to communicate and have heard.

However, things move fast these days.  We’ve got an endless array of ways to ‘communicate’.  So many, in fact, we can’t possibly take it all in.  We pick up what we think is important to us and move on.  We don’t have the time.  We need to do things quickly.

When I was a kid we took the time to listen.  We took the time to read a letter and didn’t rush it.  Maybe it was because you had waited so long to receive the letter from your relative or pen pal who lived so far away.  You treasured it.

The quote above is relevant to how we communicate now.  We want to get our message across, get what we want and move on to the next task or next message.  When I set the ground rules in my workshops I add participants may want to be brave and put their phones away unless they are expecting an urgent phone call.  It removes the distraction.

We all have the need to communicate what we are thinking and feeling.  This is where wonderful new ideas can occur.

Are you taking the time to communicate or rushing it without really ‘communicating’ at all?

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