I know there are people who don’t like talking about the weather. They consider it shallow, trivial, a waste of time. But I will talk about the weather any day.
Why? Because two (or more) people are actually talking about something. And that’s where true communication starts: by talking about something. Starting out with the deep stuff can be threatening, so we start our talking about the weather, or something else seemingly simple. I sometimes get to know new people by talking to their dog first. If you pass the sniff test that opens a lot of doors with humans.
Once you begin talking, you might start talking about more than the weather. Before you know it relationships might begin to develop.
So next time someone greets you with a comment about the weather don’t ignore them, groan or give a slight wave. Start talking. There’s no telling where that cloudy conversation might take you.
“We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors.”
We’re all getting a lesson in the importance of good, clear, and accurate communication in times of crisis right now, aren’t we? Do you feel you have not been getting good information about COVID19? Or maybe you are on overload with too much information? Are you not sure who and what to trust? If you said yes to any of these welcome to the club.
We no longer have to wait for the nightly news to find out what is going on in the world. We learn of major news stories as they are happening, often before there is really much to report. It often seems the need to get something out there takes precedence over accuracy and fact-checking.
So how do we decide who to trust and how do we deal with information overload?
Choose your “experts.” Use sources you consider reliable for your information. The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, or appropriate agencies within your government are essential.
Fact check. Especially if something just doesn’t seem right. Right now I’m checking pretty much everything.
Limit your news coverage consumption. Keep up on things that are important for you to know, but round the clock news during times like these is not good for anybody.
If you want to share things online, pass along “good news” coverage, like stories of how people are reaching out during this time of social isolation.
Realize the importance of the things you can do to protect yourself and others. Saying that this is no more serious than the flu and going about life as usual is dangerous. Do what you can to stop the spread of the disease.
This is far from over, so continue following the guidelines set forth by the CDC and WHO. Don’t try to force things back to the old normal and hang in there.