As I’ve looked for strategic things that make a difference, I’ve found nothing really succeeds better than doing the activity you want to succeed in. For example, golfers actually can improve by playing golf, tennis—tennis, public speaking—public speaking. Of course, there are no guarantees (there are in fact very few of those in this world), but isn’t that how you’d bet? When people write a lot they tend to get better (The Writing Course), and when they read a lot they tend to be well-read.
Doesn’t this make sense with communicating? Don’t you think the more you talk with someone the better shot you’ll have at really understanding them (and being understood)? We love the technologies we have learned, developed, and teach (like the course I teach called Think on Your Feet); but when you get right down to it, there is nothing like just hanging in there & communicating for the real magic to happen.
Here’s a quote from a fine book by Sam Carpenter, called Work the System—
“The sense I have developed over they years is that quantity of communication is a direct determinant of the quality of communication. (By the way, I am referring here to sensible discourse between two parties. It is no good if one party spews enormous amounts of useless information while ignoring the other side.) Quantity of communication connects directly to any success or failure…More communication leads to better efficiency, stronger cooperation, and deeper trust. Between two people—or between two nations—if silence reigns, problems will arise in the relationship, or there will be no relationship at all. Of course, if one party is crazy, communication can become worse than a waste of time; it can be damaging.”
It really does make sense that there is a certain kind of QUALITY to QUANTITY. You know that frustrating situation you are having with someone else? You know how you’d be tempted to dash down the other aisle if you saw that person in Wal-Mart? Go talk with him or her.
If you need a starter kit, then say this—
I feel tension with you
I want the tension to go away
I want to understand your view on what’s happening
Then, and only then, would I like to share my view
And…just keep talking until you’ve really communicated! If they are crazy, you’ll never get anywhere, but at least you know you tried. If you are crazy, then you might get to find out exactly how you are crazy…which means you might be able to start climbing out of it!
Peace this week,
P.S. I’d love to see your successes posted here!