Big Communication Problem

A recent conversation caused me to pause and think about a reason for much of the discord we experience in business. It is a big communication problem we’ve all experienced whether we realize it or not. Not only have we experienced it, we’ve been on both sides of it. What am I talking about? Simply put, one of the major causes of difficulties in both business and personal life is one-sided communication.

A Disadvantage

As someone who writes a blog I can tell you that one major difficulty is trying to make sure that what I communicate is clear. Unfortunately, because there is generally not enough time to run my thoughts by someone else before writing, it is difficult to fully anticipate how others might respond. But, that is simply the nature of blogging, so most of us have to just accept that limitation. However, in our day-to-day lives we have the opportunity to avoid this shortcoming.

Listen and Listen Some More

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus. So, think carefully. If you are like me you often fail to practice this. Most of us are so anxious to make our views known that we fail miserably when it comes to listening to the thoughts of others. Yet, since none of us is all-knowing, we do ourselves (not to mention others) a disservice when we talk too much and listen to little. Most relationships, whether personal or business, suffer from this to some degree, and it seems that the more strongly people hold their views the more this becomes a big communication problem.

Try Something

Since this is a business blog, I will suggest something for all who struggle in this area, including me.

The next time you find yourself discussing something of great importance, try to hold off on expressing an opinion. Rather, listen carefully to the other person. Then, ask questions that show you have listened and want more clarity. After you have listened, asked questions, and received answers, then respond. But, think about putting much of your response in the form of questions. For example, the other person may have suggested a particular way to handle a problem and provided additional details in response to your questions. You may find that you don’t agree. But, rather than saying something like, “Oh, I disagree!!!!! That’s a stupid idea. I think we should do such and such”, try using a question, such as, “I see where you’re coming from. Have you thought about trying ……?” That way you have not devalued their ideas but also been able to express your own. You will likely find the other person more responsive and you both may find that a solution that uses ideas from both of you comes out of your discussion.

Just a Thought

The sad thing is, because this is a blog I only get to start with my thoughts. The immediate interaction is lacking. So, the best I can do is to ask for your feedback. Tell me if you have some more thoughts on how to avoid this big communication problem of one-sided communication and if it is something you encounter in your business and personal life or both.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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