Sunday, September 27, 2009

What we have hee-ah is a fail-yah to communicate".
This is one of my favorite movie lines from, ‘Cool Hand Luke’.
Recently, I read an article saying faulty communication is the biggest stumbling block in relationships, and in business. Another article said there is such a thing as too much communication. Can they both be right?
I decided to do a little research on the Art of Communication and found that there is a lot more involved than just imparting information.
Take these examples of actual headlines for instance:
Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says.
Caskets Found as Workers Demolish Mausoleum
Poison Control Center Reminds Everyone Not to Take Poison
Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons
One-Armed Man Applauds Kindness of Strangers
Now, we all know what the reporter meant, but when you look at it in print, well…
The same thing happens when people speak too quickly. It’s called a slip of the tongue. Suppose your boss wants to introduce you to an important new client. You’ve been warned that Mr. Rose has an extremely large nose and you must not stare or refer to it in any way. What’s the first thing out of your mouth when you meet him? Uh-huh. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Nose.”
Then there is the non-verbal, demonstrative type of communication which is often amusing. This is mostly performed by mimes or those who believe that showing is better than telling. Of course, when someone can insert a fist (preferably their own) in their mouth, that’s all anyone attending the party will remember about them.
Communication requires a wide range of skills such as, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. In fact, it is only through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur. The United States has a whole department set up for the purpose of imparting and regulating the communication sent out via radio, tv, wire, satellite and cable. If it’s important enough for the government to get involved, it must be pretty darned important. Not to mention the vast array of classes offered to improve your writing and communication skills using PowerPoint, spread sheet applications and shadow puppets. Cornel University engages in the fundamental study and application of communication science. Wow.
Miscommunication opens up what is known as the triangle of conflict…Fear (What if?), assumptions believed as truth, (ass-u-me), what to do? (duh)
I recently experienced the triangle of conflict when performing the simple task of ordering a farewell cake for a dear friend.
I neglected to read the following words on the order form: Print EXACTLY what you would like on the top of the cake. And although she mispelled underneath, obviously, based on my communication, the baker was just doing her job.

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