Yea, we’re all pretty smart. We’re all qualified, educated and kick-ass on a daily basis. Then why is communication such a challenge most of the time? Maybe it’s our attention spans or the need to be uber articulate. There’s a gazillion reasons. But most of the time I think we’re not trying hard enough, or sometimes - trying too hard…
If you think about it, the goal in any communication scenario is to create understanding between people. But, so many things can get in the way of doing just that. Here’s my top three things that I think contribute to poor communication:
You’re Smart, we get it.
You’re using those big long words that we don’t hear in normal sentences to demonstrate how much you know. That’s not communicating. That’s showing off. Your goal isn’t actual understanding. Your goal is to show someone how smart you are.
The Need For Speed.
We’re busy. We take short cuts. You don’t have time to get into it… yadda, yadda. We typically think of short cuts as having no downside… but with communication - if you skip the context, don’t express the “why” then you’re not actually expressing anything effectively.
Feeling like a robot.
Emotions exist. They inform our actions and the way we talk to people. Pretending that emotion isn’t a factor in any and all communication is fucking stupid. But it happens all the time. When we write off emotion as a silly human side-effect, we only get a very small piece of the picture.
We all have to talk to one another. We have to relay instructions, relate, provide context, tell stories, solve problems, express ideas… so if the goal is to create understanding - then let’s stop taking short-cuts and work on getting better at it.