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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Anyone can communicate, can’t they?

Of course anyone can. We can all communicate whether that is by speech, written word, sign language, Braille, body language, grunts, or simply the movement of the eyes if everything else is lost to us. Being able to communicate in some form is a great gift and one that we take for granted. If for some reason, medically or otherwise, we are robbed of the power to communicate then we would find it extremely frustrating and upsetting. Face to face communication is something to be treasured as is the power of speech and sight but are we losing the art of communicating or should I say communicating effectively? With more and more transactions being conducted by e-mail and text the need to talk face to face, or even on the telephone, is reducing. Many young people in particular are starting working life not knowing how to talk to their colleagues let alone customers and bosses, and many would rather use e-mail than pick up a telephone.

People are forgetting how to talk, how to listen and Communicating with More Confidence how to pick up on subtle nuances of body language; this can lead to failed relationships and misunderstandings both in our social and our working lives.

Many people no longer know how to express themselves, what words to use and not to use. Worse still, they lack the confidence to meet other people or tackle difficult situations face-to-face, seeking to criticize, chastise and even worse dismiss people and end relationships by e-mail or text.

At work colleagues send e-mails to the person sitting at the desk next to them; managers instruct and inform by e-mail and then wonder why their instructions have been ignored or misinterpreted.

When things go wrong we often blame other people: if only they had expressed themselves more clearly, if only they hadn’t assumed, if only they had listened to us. It is never our fault that we have failed to communicate effectively, is it? Wrong.

We as individuals need to take full responsibility for communicating effectively. It is our responsibility, no one else’s.

But why is this? Because you can never change another person. Many of us have tried and failed. Those that have succeeded haven’t so much changed the other person they have changed themselves. By changing the way you think, behave, and react with others you can change the response you receive.

You can only change you.