I was chatting with a very good friend recently & we joked that if we write too much in a message the other will have forgotten what we’re writing about before they reach the end!
This led me to thinking about ‘Listening but not hearing; Looking but not seeing.‘
It is not a new idea but like many profound sayings, it still rings true today.
The original phrase used was actually, ‘They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might change …‘ His audience were interpreting what they saw & heard through their own filters, rather than seeing the true picture of what was happening.
We seem to live in an age of increasing communication but reduced understanding.
Perhaps there is simply too much information bombarding us through text, e-mail, TV, radio, Internet etc; we cannot take it all in.
But perhaps we have also become so used to scanning long notes or texts & then interpreting what we see in the light of our own goals, objectives or views that we miss the real message or its contents.
Perhaps we have lost the real art of communication?
Is increased communication actually less effective because it is also less personal; less face-to-face; less interactive? When we remove our facial expressions, tone of voice, touch of hand, gestures, whatever personal methods we use, we also strip out some of the true value & real power of communication.
Is it perhaps time to to a step back, re-evaluate what communication is (& isn’t), strip away what is urgent & deal with what is important? All-too-often we seem to be driven by immediate needs & the urgent rather than focussing on the important.
Perhaps if we sort this out before we speak or send written messages we reduce a lot of the crap is tackled each day & begin to communicate more effectively?
For me, a basic question if I write something or say something is, “What am I trying to communicate: What do I want to say?”
If I scribble a ‘quick note’ that is illegible or makes little sense, it rarely saves time, rarely makes things easier (or clearer) & actually rarely achieve its objective!
Taking a little longer to write a note that can be read & that clearly communicates what I am trying to say, want to achieve, where I need help etc will surely save time, effort & ultimately I believe, stress?
I am continually challenged & re-challenged as I write my notorious ‘War & Peace’ texts or notes or e-mails, that if I wrote less but expressed more clearly, then my communication would be more effectively. Equally if I apply the same to my spoken communication, perhaps I may be understood first time, a little more often?
I guess my personal challenge is to ease the load on others & myself by thinking a bit more before I send a communication, reading a bit slower & reading/listening more carefully to the communications I receive.
Take care until next time …