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20th-Jul-2006 12:53 am
I’m gonna break my “rule” a bit here because this bit of commentary is based largely in my experience with…well…my life.

Why is communication such a freaking difficult concept for people to deal with? Seriously. I left my old job because I thought that those above me were not only bad at communication it seemed as though they would actually combat it at times.

Now I’m working at a new place. I really do like the people I work with (at least those I’ve met) but now I am finding once again that communication seems to be a difficult issue. It’s not that people don’t listen. I think they do, but it’s the concept of what is “effective communication” as it relates to this particular organization. I’ve already been wrapped up in a couple of situations that were, in my opinion, a result of communication gaps.

The funniest thing relating to this topic was the training I had for what I am now doing in my life. I had to watch a video on “effective communication” (a term and concept I am already quite familiar with due to my background as a facilitator and user of experiential communication), and I must say that I had a laugh. I pretty much checked out from the start because the guy who was supposed to be very versed in the concept of communication said communication was two things:

1. Talking
2. Listening

A nice idea but the first thing that sprang into my mind (sarcastically) was, “Wow, I guess people who are deaf and mute are screwed then.” The guy then went on to do the whole breakdown of how communication (spoken) worked. You know the whole 70% is how you look and body language, 20% is tone of voice and only 10% is words. Those percents will change of course depending on what research and study you check, but the end result is usually the same and that is that we don’t “hear” words as much as we think.

Oh, and I believe that "effective" communication does entail two things. They are:

1. Giving information
2. Receiving information

As luck would have it the other day I am talking to a gentleman in the park about communication again. As it turns out he recently attended a workshop on communication (his organization paid loads of money for the guys who did the presentation). After we talked about the presentation he attended I asked him how much of what he heard was a “duh” concept. He said all of it was.

This is what amazes me so much about our society. We’re constantly striving to “improve” things and yet here we sit not able to grasp even some of the most (seemingly) basic concepts of existing in a society and world with other individuals.

The daily things [like this and that and what is what]
That keep us all busy
Are confusing me

To me this all goes back to the title of this little experiment that my journal is, and that is that the mundane distractions of everyday life pull our attention away from those things that if we put our time towards, could probably really help increase the positivity of the world around us, on both a micro and macro scale.

Yet, how can anyone expect others to pull their focus away from things like family and survival (economically, emotionally, etc.) in order to create a better world. I could try to fault others for doing such a thing, but I don’t believe it would be proper. The state of my life (no kids, no relationship, etc.) affords me the time to look out on a larger level and ask, “Why.” It’s such a freaking conundrum for me.

When we are older you'll understand
It's enough when I say so
And maybe some things are that simple

How effective is your communication? Do you play the games others play? Do you strive for clarity when you don’t have it, or do you choose to make the assumption of what others are saying?

The lyrics I popped in here (because I think they fit) are from the song below. I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts, but I really dig the song.
20th-Jul-2006 01:29 pm (UTC)
I think that what they taught would be better suited for online communication. I agree that most communication is nonverbal, and living in a place where I see a lot of things in a language that I don't understand well has really pushed that onto me. Even though, for example, at a play I saw the other day, I could understand the exact meaning of 25% of the words, and the general meaning of 75% of the dialogue, I still felt that I understood the meaning of the play perfectly. When the character was upset, even if I didn't know what they were saying exactly, I knew the real meaning behind the words..

I do think, though, that speaking and hearing, in a way, are important more than ever in today's society. Specifically, on the internet. I've had a lot of discussions with people who think that emoticons shouldn't be used in posts, but I think that they are completely and totally necessary in certain situations, because they fill the role of nonverbal communication, to a small degree. If I wrote:
What a nice body.
What a nice body ^_^;;;;;;;

then it has an entirely different connotation. Gaaaaaah, if only there was a way to get things across effectively on the web. I'm constantly misunderstood, even by people that know me well in person, and it's ever frustrating. X.x

Sorry for rambling on. It's getting pretty late and it was a loooooong day today. ^^;; I love reading your posts when you do post, though. ^^
20th-Jul-2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
How do you speak and hear on the internet? Without video and audio that is. That is why I said "giving information" and "receiving information" the more that is given and received the clearer the communication can be. What you said about emoticons exactly what I'm talking about.

When people type like they talk on the internet there are a lot of problems that can arise, I've seen them and been a part of them. The idea that it's just the voice/words doesn't work on it's own for me. Emoticons or other stuff like, 'hehe' or saying flat out "I'm being sarcastic" tends to fill those gaps. Sure you ('you' being everyone) can hear your intonation and voice in your head but when you're only dealing with text you're opening up the door for a number of problems.

So, while you say you're talking about speaking and hearing, I think you're talking about the 'message' of what is being said as opposed to the literal words being said, am I right? Everything you said seems to vibe with what I was trying to get across but it's seems like you believe you disagree.

Wow, case in point...hehe.
20th-Jul-2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Ahaha... actually, I agree with what you said, I just wanted to apply it to the internet, which it seems wasn't being touched on after all. =D Nonverbal communication is so important, but people never seem to understand that, and it's frustrating. When I saw a friend of mine be belittled by this group of people online for using lots of emoticons in her post, I was really angry. At least I can tell how she feels when she writes, but the people that never give any kind of indication, it's sometimes impossible to tell how they do feel. x.x
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