We, people, are considered as being able to communicate our thoughts to others. Nevertheless, I see people who often claim to be eager for communication, but – in the same time – assuming the others read their minds, thus failing dramatically at “interaction class”. Others fail at “being clear” class. Others simply fail in… communicating. So, based on my experience so far, I’ve encountered and used – and still do – a few guidelines for a good communication flow, from my perspective.
1. Number one communication rule, as I see it? Stand up and talk face to face (if applicable); keyboard or keypad are not the best ways to express and understand reactions/ feelings;
2. Speak your mind and sustain your ideas with valid arguments. Don’t leave room to interpretation, unless you’re playing a part (which should be considered as last resort – preferably avoided);
3. Give “too many details” – Help others connect the dots.
I was told many times “You give me too many details, when all I needed was a yes or no”. Never consider as “giving too many details”. From my experience, most of the times, details are the key or lead to the key of solving a problem or speeding up things. When you have “too many details” put together, you can see the entire picture. Why to provide or accept to be given just a small part, when you can have all of it? If you can’t make use of this piece of information, maybe someone else can connect the dots.
4. Ask questions
Never fall for the trap “Why do you ask questions, instead of just acting as I instructed?”. Why should I just act? Sorry, but I have a brain and I have the right to use it, before taking any action!
5. Always be the “heads-up” guy.
If you can and you believe the person next to you may benefit, share information, don’t keep it to yourself. This saves a lot of time and avoids unpleasant experiences, to everyone. You will be thanked for!
6. Filter the information you receive and, if you don’t agree, state it clearly. There may be people able to read minds, but most of us can’t. So, assuming this as a fact might not help.
7. Short stories may bring some artistic value, but might not always be of actual help. Therefore, as tempted as you may be to add “flowers and rainbows”, try to stick to the subject.
I’ve been put in so many difficult situations because of faulty communication… And maybe that’s why I choose to do it my way – communicate all I know and, where’s a gap, fill it. Saves so much time!
As a short recap:
– stand up and talk face to face;
– speak your mind – saves lots of efforts;
– sustain your point of view with valid arguments;
– use as many details as you consider necessary for a clear interaction;
– make use of your brain before releasing your thoughts; filter them a bit;
– instead if assuming that you know what the other thinks, fill the gaps before they appear – is as simple as asking.
– consider the topic.
If you’ve come so far, ask yourself: do all these make sense? Is there any valid point you can agree with? Don’t take anything for granted. Confront with your own opinion and act accordingly. Being complacent and taking others’ words as replacement for your own thoughts is not the best way to really see things.