I've been overwhelmed by the steep learning curve that I've been immersed in when it comes to the topic of communication. Here are four things that I'm pondering in my life:
1. If it isn't real, it isn't worth it. Timothy Keller is quoted as saying, "you can't traffic an unfelt truth." We've all known people who just like to talk, but nothing they say really mattered or had any quality of depth to it. If I don't have anything good to say, and if what I want to say isn't real, then I simply shouldn't say it. Communication is about connecting with other people. I cannot develop a true connection unless I'm being real. All my communicative interactions must be saturated in authenticity, otherwise it isn't worth the effort in trying to communicate.
2. Consistently be consistent. This is a big one. There is so much messaging in our world today. We are bombarded with all sorts of advertising, opinions and rhetoric. The challenge is this emerging "loud" culture is to remain consistent in what you are trying to communicate. Communication is a two way street, it needs to be both given and received. The consistent message is easier to receive than one that is constantly changing. Stay the course and be consistent with your messaging.
3. Keep it simple. Language sometimes gets in the way. If I say the world apple, some people think of food, while others think of technology. This gets even more convoluted when you think about anything like marketing, teaching, or sharing honestly. I don't think communicators need to be master linguists, but we do need to understand our audience and ere on the side of simplicity in order to ensure that clarity is a result instead of complexity and confusion.
4. I have two ears, and only one voice. Great communication begins with learning to listen well. When I listen, I earn the right to be heard. Imagine if each of us had someone in our lives who loved spending time listening to what is happening in our worlds? I think we might see a significant decrease in things like stress, frustration, anger and annoyance if we simply took the time to really listen to one another.
What about you, what are you learning about communicating?
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