Monday, 6 February 2012

GRAPHIC WORKS!! Communication is key. Live Life~Love Life WK 7

Communication is key.
Graphic works... why that title? Because graphics are generally clear images that provide a very popular way of communicating, from flyers to films showing us that clarity is an essential component in successful communication.

No I am not about to give a lecture telling you to improve your listening skills!! That would be teaching Grandma to suck eggs, but what I will say is that everything comes down to communication; be it good communication, poor communication or a distinct lack of communication and all of us have experienced the joys and frustrations associated with these.

Today we are going to challenge ourselves by linking these areas to our own life situations. The idea is to throw complacency to the wind because there is always room for improvement and to set about identifying the tender spots. For example, a businessman might say, ’I’m a great communicator. I run a team of 30 people and my staff know exactly what’s required of them.’ If that’s the case, fantastic, but does that great communication continue into other areas of life? There are many lonely people in this world who have hard working, sociable partners who in turn do not realise that their partner is actually suffering isolation by facing the ‘me, me, me’ syndrome on a daily basis. Worse still, having a partner who is too tired to bother even to speak about their day never mind enquiring about anyone else’s.

Sometimes the thought of tackling such problems can seem daunting. The business man may well be genuinely exhausted and to accept this situation is difficult whilst attempting to correct it is harder still. The same problem exists for the partner whose attempts at discussion may fall on closed ears.

Communicating with colleagues who do not seem to understand what is being asked, which becomes evident when a task is half done or completely misunderstood, can be very frustrating. Similarly, how many times do we hear people addressing their children in ways that horrify us? Continually shouting or making negative comments; not listening to what the child has to say?

The key points to improving communication, hence any form of relationship are as follows:
1) Know what you want to achieve
2) Consider the other person and how your expectations will impact on them
3) Set aside time to communicate & make decisions where appropriate
4) Be patient
5) See how much better everything becomes!

Let’s consider each point briefly:
1) By knowing what you want to achieve you can decide what strategy to use & how to communicate your wishes, eg: your business is losing money. Your aim is to identify new opportunity/losses etc. Strategies might extend to include all levels of the organization & you will need to decide the best way of doing so in order to communicate this effectively to your team.
2) Remember that we all have different priorities & expectations in most situations, eg: Your children hate doing their homework but you want them to do well. You could set aside time to identify the problems and find out the help they need or incentives to encourage them.
3) There is no point in making hasty decisions except in emergency situations. The best thing is to allow time in your schedule and also make time at home, eg: Don’t just expect your partner to book the annual holiday. It is en experience to be shared. Set aside time to discuss where you would like to go, type of holiday & accommodation. The whole experience will then be fulfilling for both of you.
4) Patience is a skill. If people do not understand what is expected then you may need to try to find alternative ways to communicate your wishes. Patience is also required in relation to change and improvement. Do not set your expectations too high and support the people you are trying to help. This will provide a better outcome than a list of demands.
5) Seeing how things improve is basically the ongoing process of evaluating change. This enables you to make continuous improvements in the areas of communication, understanding, decisions and therefore your situation.

Let’s make this the week where we do our best to improve communication in one area of our lives however small and see what a difference it can make.

Jaz McKenzie

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