If / Then – What is Communication?

Communication can mean different things to different people, and sometimes your definition changes depending on the circumstances. Communication is really about being present with the one you are with or the group you are in front of. Be in the moment and act out of that moment rather than how you think you should act based off from a previous similar event. Each moment is a gift for us to experience and truly be who we really are. Listen to the truth of the feelings you have and act – get out of your head and be true to what you already know.
The following is the next segment in a paper I wrote about decision making.

Dwight Raatz

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What is Communication?
Some people would answer the question, “What is communication?” by saying it is the act of speaking to someone in order to convey an idea. Does this sound reasonable to you? I would say that while it is important to speak as part of communication, it is only part of the process. What is more important is listening. Unfortunately, we are not taught this skill when we are young. We go to school and learn how to read, write, and speak, but I don’t remember ever having a course in listening do you?
I challenge you to take the time to listen to someone fully. What does this mean? It means that you should do the following things when someone it talking to you:

  • Stop typing
  • Don’t look at your phone display if it rings
  • Don’t look out the window of your office or the building
  • If you are expecting an important call, warn the person before they start talking
  • Look directly at the person, preferably at their eyes
  • Repeat a paraphrased version of what the person said to make sure you understand what they said; especially if they are requesting something or if it is a complex issue
  • Take notes if the person has come with several concerns, this will show that you want to make sure you don’t forget any points.
  • Clear your mind of what you have to do next. Better yet, set expectations with the other person as to how much time you have at the start of the conversation.

< continuing next time with “Motivation”>

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