What is Communication?

What is Communication?

Some of us think that communication means sharing information and understanding between people, and it seems universally agreed that in times of crisis we all want communication.

Also agreed is that a lot of people are leaping into the position of Communicator for their groups, but it seems that there are different ideas about what it means to communicate.

Here are some of those ideas:

Say A Lot – This communicator measures success by word count.  Say many things, say them often, don’t worry too much about what those things are.  People will be so glad to hear from you- just your efforts to connect will be good for them.

Give only good news – This speaker believes that people will be discouraged by hearing anything other than positive information, so anything that could be considered negative is not mentioned. Even if there is a big dose of bad news, it can only cause anxiety, so ignore it.

Let Cliches and Platitudes do the work – This speaker doesn’t have to think too much about what to say because there is an unending supply of old and tired phrases to drag out.  These have been used forever so they must be effective, and it saves having to think about what to say.

Defend the Role – When information is unclear, awkward, or unlikely to be popular, this speaker reminds listeners that the role of speaker rests in power or position, so whatever is said is to be believed. These comments are best said frequently and with force.

What’s to be done in the face of these presentations?

If you’re the listener, watch out for these slippery versions of communication, and look for a source that is clear and honest

If you’re the speaker, knock it off.

And everyone:  These behaviors are present all the time – not just during a crisis.  Maybe this is a good time to learn about real communication: how to do it and how to find it.

Learn more about how our courses and services could improve your operations — www.languageatwork.com/courses.  If it’s easier, call me directly at 202-298-7700.  Thanks!  Judy