Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Communication : Talking, Listening or more?

"The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished" - George Bernard Shaw 
A few days ago we happened to do our Project kick off, an event where we discuss what we would achieve in the quarter, for the product in a given release cycle with details of who does what and when. Wanting to keep the mood of the kick off light we wanted to have some cake cut at the end of the kick off meeting and celebrate the beginning of the release; I happened to pass on few quids to the office boy and asked him to get us a cake, when the kick off meeting was over and we opened the box it was a small cake that probably wont be enough for our team, so what was this?

Also a few weeks ago, my wife called me while I was on my way home and asked me to get a "Few cold drinks" mentioning my kids friends are in. Thinking that the troop was at home for a puppy party or something I ended up taking a few gallons of soft drinks, only to reach home and realise they were 2 of them. What do you call this????

Well its the disconnect. The ability to speak is not the same as the ability to communicate. Speaking is different than constructing a message, building it, conveying it, gathering the feedback, processing it and returning it back in a way it is understood. Most times the part involving feedback and further is lost and hence a disconnect happens breaking the communication and causing pains and disasters big or small.

Communication is not about you blabbering, it is conveying processed information
Communication is not about words exchanged, it is about processing the words to result an outcome
Communication is not about you listening or you telling, Communication is always about connecting

Next time when you communicate..... make sure

1. You construct a message that would be easy to understand and can be easily conveyed
2. You take that message and use an appropriate channel to pass it on
3. You wait for the feedback once you convey the message.
4. You take the feedback and process it to understand if your message is rightly understood and if not you re-convey.
5. You take the resultant feedback and build the next message in a language and mode it is understood...

None of the above is new to us, eventually we in the rush always tend to forget the completeness of the communication and that results in delays and waste of efforts you never looked for.