It seems appropriate to end our month of posts on communication with a little get-together or party if you will. Hopefully, this will give us a chance to meet new readers and get to know the “old-timers” a little better.
Please leave a brief introduction in the comments below with a link to your blog or website if you have one. Invite your friends and let’s have fun with this!
“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.”
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’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.
Communication is one of the greatest tools we possess as individuals and societies. It can be used to bring us together, teach, heal and create. But it can also be one of our greatest problems tearing us apart. Many of the problems we see in the world today stem from communication — miscommunication, inappropriate communication or sometimes even a total lack of communication.
If we are going to heal the world, we have to start talking to each other. Not just talking at but also listening and communicating at deeper levels. The days of only talking about the important stuff with people we know agree with us needa to end.
I had already scheduled this month before the pandemic. But now communication has taken on a whole new meaning and importance hasn’t it? Stay with me for our regular Thought for Today as well of a few of my own thoughts about communication in the time of social distancing.
Please join me this month as we look at communication. Leave your comments below and let’s communicate!
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” —attributed to Anthony Robbins
Here in the American Midwest we say we won’t discuss politics or religion. In reality, we won’t discuss them with people who disagree. We will talk about both all day long with those considered “like minded.”
This rule is supposed to prevent conflict. What it does is cause conflict by preventing communication. The gridlock and lack of cooperation in our Federal government is also in our cities, neighborhoods and even our homes.
Nothing will get better while we choose sides and blame each other. We must start talking. Next time you are tempted to shut down a conversation with “I don’t discuss…” perhaps you really should talk about it. Listen with an open mind and both sides might just learn something