Communication is hard. You would think all of us speaking the same language would make it a little bit easier, but it doesn’t. Figuratively speaking, communication is an onion that you must continually peel. Yet there is no core to be found at the epicenter.
There are many reasons why our message isn’t understood by the recipient: misusing details, tone, time, not thinking before we speak, and not knowing our audience. But there is so much more to it. There are straight up communication barriers that truly exist. I remember reading the book, The Color Code by Taylor Hartman Ph.D. The text details various types of people and how we either successfully or unsuccessfully interact with each other. This book is a deep dive into who we are and helps us understand others around us. It’s supposed to give us guidance on how to identify and communicate with people. I do highly recommend this book.
I’m not going to lie, though. While I can identify people’s color code, I still have difficulty communicating. I am who I am: a very direct person who really isn’t into the minutia of detail. And the details I do notice are not those of others.
However, I have learned to pause. I have learned to accept differences in communication. I find this understanding and acceptance the most helpful when interacting with others. It shows them I see them for who they are, and in turn, they learn who I am. Typically, grace and understanding are the result.
Listening is also an essential part of communication. How often do we find our minds wondering while someone is talking to us? Or wanting to move on to the next thing, because as we believe it, our minds have processed what the person is trying to say, so we stop listening.
find myself doing this more than I care to admit. I’m especially guilty of jumping to the end. It’s the age-old problem of not listening, but instead “waiting” until it’s our turn to speak. This is something I am truly trying to work on in my professional and personal worlds. As they say…the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
There are so many more reasons beyond the basics, the color codes, and listening that makes communication hard. Yet, I feel like if we cover our basics, then take it a step further to see ourselves and others more through active listening, we definitely will improve our results.
And PLEASE do not text when it should be a call!