Communication disasters to avoid
Just the human species, in the entire animal kingdom has a unique advantage of exhaustive vocabulary, structured languages and multiple communication interfaces
Just the human species, in the entire animal kingdom has a unique advantage of exhaustive vocabulary, structured languages and multiple communication interfaces. However, are we the most miscommunicating species with all privileges? The answer is a big 'YES'.
The contemporary timeline of human endeavour is presenting many challenges to individuals, miscommunication being bedrock for the most. The irony of miscommunication is that it is an orphan, and no one owns it.
It is very unlikely that individuals take responsibility for communication failures, even if it is clearly driven by them. It is almost impossible for one to stop, reflect, assess and accept one's own shortcomings. No wonder, an in-effective communicator tends to remain in-effective throughout his life. Excellence is impossible, if you don't accept your follies.
Effective communication is undervalued and under-prioritised in our nation. This callousness clearly reflects serious demand and supply gap for real professionals in India. In nations which value and prioritise professionalism, effective communication is considered the core-criteria, sometimes even more important than technical skills.
People management, leading teams and organisations with coherence is impossible without congruent communication capabilities.
It is imperative that nations which understand, demand and value higher degree of professionalism realise that, great results are possible only with high quality precision communication. There are many roadblocks to effective and efficient communication, and everyone would have encountered these at home and work. I will highlight just few top-end obstacles, which seriously undermine positive results.
MADNESS OVER METHOD: All business and professional communication requires de-personalisation. Those who carry their personal attributes into professional communication will certainly undermine communication objectives, leading to disastrous results.
Professional communication requires 'Method' not 'Madness'. 'Method' has standardisation, time-tested format, result-orientation, and is process-centric. 'Madness' is personalised, emotionally spiked, unstructured, random and can't be system or process driven.
The randomness and unreliability of 'Madness' ensures multi-level failures. Giving it the name of passion, many speed-talkers adopt 'Madness' as a style of communication for their own peril.
TO AVOID: If you run an enterprise or if you are a professional, your communication is what represents you. If you are an unprofessional communicator as an entrepreneur, you can hardly attract powerful professionals into your team.
If you are a professional without a 'Method', you shouldn't be called one. It is impossible for you to accomplish great results for the organisation which hired you.
EXPERIENCE CAN BE FATAL: Individuals carry many experiences and memories; some could be pleasantly positive and some viciously negative. Your personal communication will naturally pass through these filters and whichever is your dominant orientation, it will get expressed in every conversation.
The positive or negative dominance of your experience and memory filters on your communication cannot be suppressed beyond a certain point, it will be visible for a discerning communicator.
There is a reason why everyone in this world would love to interact with a child and carry a pleasant experience every single time. It's the non-existent experience and memory filters in a child, which drives an unfiltered, unprocessed, free flow of honest communication.
Honest and genuinely polite communication is quite effective, even if it has commercial objectives. Individuals who can keep aside their negative experience and memory filters while communicating can accomplish great results, by being open minded and not processing everything the other person communicates through their past negative experience and memory.
TO AVOID: I suggest individuals both in personal and professional communication domains unplug from their past negative experiences and memory while processing others' statements and conversation.
I call this method 'The-Child-Way' - trying to listen and comprehend the core point the other person is trying to drive, than jump in with your own assumption and intent. In the context of effective communication, a child-like professional - honest, curious, open-minded and attentive is the need of the hour, for great results.
THE NON-LISTENER: This is one is the lowest level of communication and quite prevalent across the country. It assures 100% failure in all personal & professional communication. Unfortunately, this style of communication has become rampant in the last two decades. Confused westernization, misplaced arrogance, lack of cultural grounding and lack of professional training could be few reasons for this serious deficiency.
Listening is the core function of any effective communication; speaking is only a part. However, the X, Y and Z generations of our nation have gradually degenerated communication into cacophony and mindless ramble. Aggressive, rude and unruly way of expression is being considered 'open-expression'. Axing other's communication every few seconds with an uncontrollable urge to fill-in, paraphrase, insert, presumptively-judge has become a new normal.
Nothing can be accomplished by not listening to others communication in full. Nothing worthy can ever be accomplished by presuming, judging and concluding through constant interference and disruption.
A 'Non-Listener' can hardly earn any respect and admiration from anyone. No amount of wealth, experience and power can get a 'Non-Listener' to be a respectable leader.
TO AVOID: Well-learned, amply trained, experienced and matured individuals can easily understand why 'Listening' is the core function of effective and precision communication. Active Listening is a great way to scale up one's communication competence.
The above are just few disasters to avoid. Communication is a double-edged sword and when used efficiently can result in massive positive outcomes. However, when miscommunicated can lead to unpleasantness, misunderstanding, conflicts and negative outcomes. It's quite essential that a nation like ours prioritize and value effective communication as a professional discipline and a national value.
(The writer is the chief spokesperson of BJP, organisational strategist & internationally reputed leadership coach)