Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Connecting Through Language

There are many ways of connecting with people, from our language such as the words we speak to the unspoken language, body movements, stance and eye contact. How we connect with people in real time as opposed to through the written word gives us completely different perspectives. Through writing one can either express more emotion than in real life as the comfort zone of not being face to face gives a modicum of anonymity or can leave out a great deal of emotion which lends a coldness to the correspondence, whether on purpose or not.

It is so easy to second guess or assume what a person is thinking when we don't have them right in front of us and can ask for the meaning behind what they say, that is if there is any ambiguity.

Still, how we present our words, craft sentences and use language to correctly reflect our thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions and perspectives will determine how deeply we connect with that person. And that's what it's all about isn't it? Defining our relationships and attracting the ones that make the difference between having a good life and an extraordinary one.

If the communication on one part is silence, then the person on the receiving end will definitely make up their own story and usually it's not a good one. People tend to fill in silences with what they're most insecure about. Something to keep in mind. As well, when communicating we need to set a flow and rhythm that will lend to the needs of the relationship itself, on both parts, so that the space of silence isn't filled with what neither of you ultimately want.

The people in my life... family, friends, clients and students know they will hear back from me in a timely manner. I'd much rather have a conversation with any medium I could in order to deepen a relationship and be on the same wavelength than leave someone hanging, assuming the worst and wondering.

Next time you wait for all your answers before getting back to someone, remember they might not be as patient as you are and look elsewhere or move forward with incomplete or wrong information. Communication is a dance of sorts but think of whether or not you want a dance or a walk on the tight rope.

Donna Karlin

*Note: Speaking of communicating, a fellow blogger from Fast Company Experts writes an amazing column you don't want to miss called Conversation Agent Bookmark it because you're going to end up visiting it often.

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