Sunday, September 19, 2004

Communication or Lack Of…

I love to listen, to observe, watch how people communicate or don't. It never ceases to amaze me when people think you can read their minds, know how or what they’re thinking or feeling without them uttering a word. For some reason they think we’re clairvoyant and can read their minds, when in reality, we can’t do any such thing.

It’s impossible to learn, find out more about people who intrigue you, when there’s silence. The first building block of communicating is when you feel every person is unique and has value. In feeling that way, you automatically listen to what they have to say because deep down you believe they know something about something that you don’t know and want to learn. Whether it’s information or intangibles, i.e. how they interact with others and bring energy to a conversation or relationship or drain it, you learn from both. It’s next to impossible to learn anything especially when there is no communication at all, or, in other words, silence.

As Dale Carnegie stated “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic but creatures of emotion”, he hit the nail on the head. People think with their insecurities, confidence, and from past experience. They don’t think with facts. Their first reaction to silence is to feel insignificant; unworthy of basic acknowledgement. Instantly they react and either close up so they won’t feel that sense of inadequacy any more or get angry and possibly (if this mode of communication or lack of continues) sever the relationship altogether.

In a work environment it could make the difference between success and existence. In a personal relationship it almost always results in its inevitable end. No matter what the dynamics of a relationship, it takes two people to make it work.

Remember, the most complimentary thing you could ever do is ask questions of another person and be interested enough to listen to the answer. The most devastating and demeaning thing you could do is ignore them.

I leave you with a Japanese proverb to make you ponder: “One kind word can warm three winter months”.

Winter is coming. Who can you touch today in some way to make them realise you value their presence in your life?

Donna Karlin

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