When There's Failure to Communicate...

From our Pinterest Communication Board

 Have you ever heard that phrase?  "What we have here, is a failure to communicate."  I say it in my head every so often, typically when I am talking with my kids or my husband.  You have to wonder... what causes that phenomena?  "Failure to communicate"...

I know that I am a good communicator.  No, I'm EXCELLENT (and humble, as you can see).  I work very hard to make sure my husband does NOT need to be a mind-reader.

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.
Joseph Priestley

Here's an example...

Him:   "What do you want for Christmas?" 
Me:  "Here's a list, with  hyperlinks to where you can find it online and I only want the blue ones, not the pink ones, listed in order of how much I want it from 'most' on top to 'least' on bottom."

Pretty clear, don't you think?  I've even done the research as to where to purchase such items.  I think that's pretty specific to even obvious.  Okay, but what do I get?  Something NOT on the list, that I've never expressed desire to have, and typically in PINK.  Well, okay, it's not that bad, but you get the picture.

"Let me paint you a picture..."

I believe that more than half of the responsibility for good communication lies with the person who is doing the majority of the listening.  The person speaking?  They are doing their job, typically to the best of their ability (that doesn't mean they don't have to, or can't, improve).  The person listening...well, that's another story.  As it's an invisible process, you never really know how well they are doing their job...their part in the "teamwork" of communication.  In most cases, in my personal experience, the listener is the one who falls down on the job.  

I have come to learn that not only do I have to be explicit in what I'm saying, but I need to do "search and rescue" with the listener... "so what did you hear me say?" or "what do you think of that" and then I refuse to accept the monosyllable or grunting reply.  But the best way to communicate?  It's still face-to-face, with eye contact and no side distractions (TV, cell phones, anyone?).  And if both parties participate actively and equally?  Well, I think the comment "what we have here is a failure to communicate" would become a thing of the past.

Explore Communication with us.  What are some of your thoughts?

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