Sunday, May 3, 2015

How We Communicate (By Crafty)

Communication is a necessity in this world. It is a way to express and exchange thoughts, ideas, and information. Communicating effectively, though, is a whole different story. Recently, I taught my students about verbal and nonverbal communication. We also discussed active listening and the difference between hearing something and actually listening to it. In a world where we spend so much time on the computer or texting, it has become hard not only to communicate effectively with each other, but it also leaves us struggling to comprehend sometimes what another person is really saying.

Word choice is one of the things that, whether written or spoken, should be pretty clear. I choose the words I want to say, a person understands them, and we move on, right? Not always. Sometimes word choice can be over someone’s head or too technical. Other times the words that are chosen actually require a person to infer what it is truly meant. Just because someone doesn’t spell it out for you in simple terms, making sure you get the point of the message, doesn’t mean they are not communicating effectively.

Honestly, we have gotten lazy. We don’t want to have to infer things, and we want it all right there in front of us - usually as quickly as possible. It wasn’t always that way, but we have managed to dumb down society to the point where some people don’t even know what the word inference means.

Another aspect of communication that gets lost in the digital world is tone. When you are composing a text or email, the person receiving it has no idea if you are truly upset or kidding around. Of course, you can always put a “lol” at the end to show you are joking, but sometimes it still leaves someone to wonder if the person is truly kidding around or taking a stab and hoping “lol” will make it better. When you can’t hear the different components of communication, it makes it hard sometimes to understand and interpret the information being relayed.

When communicating using technology, nonverbal communication is also lost. You can’t tell the person’s facial expressions when sending a text or email. I tell my husband that things are “fine” all of the time, but unless is looking at me, he doesn’t know if they are in fact fine, or if I'm just saying that. When I text him to ask if he can stop at the store on the way home, how do I know he isn’t rolling his eyes at me while texting back, “Okay?” I don’t because I can’t see his body language. Along the same lines, someone can’t see me nodding my head in agreement with a statement made in a text. He or she simply has to wait for my response and assume that my agreement is truthful.

Lastly, we feel the need to respond to things that are sent to us, posted on Facebook, or even a blog as quickly as possible. This isn’t doing anyone any favors. Step back from the message for a minute and let it sink in; put some thought into how you want to reply. Something that I have learned more recently from Boxy is that sometimes it is important to put yourself in the position of the person you are communicating with. If you can put yourself in his/her position, you can better understand what he/she is trying to say and respond accordingly. Your comprehension of what is being communicated is higher, plus you are using skills that are quickly being forgotten in the digital age.

So before you send that text, comment on that Facebook status, or reply to that email, take time to step back. Think about what the person is truly trying to say, look at it from their position, and give helpful and honest feedback. If you have the chance or ability, make a phone call to that person to give your feedback. That can go a long way in making sure you understood correctly, or better yet, if you can, stop by his/her desk. It is no wonder things are misinterpreted today. We take the easy way out so often, just leading to more frustration and negativity. 

1 comment:

  1. I didnt know crafts speak. When i was going through this blog it brought an interest for crafts. They have given great ideas. Thankyou