Don’t settle for an ordinary life
due to less than extraordinary communication.
My son failed his freshman rhetoric class this past semester. How is that possible with an expert in communication as a parent? Well, as we all know, whether you parent or not, anything is possible with teenage boys. He also failed chemistry, but who cares? Not me. (Okay so I want him to get A’s in everything, but between chem and rhet, I choose that he go through life not knowing the stability of elements with atomic numbers greater than 82 and instead he learn how to write, speak, use non-verbal behaviors and visual support to show up big in the world.) Being a good, no, a great communicator makes you a better student, employee, boss, spouse, lover, dog owner, father, daughter, okay, you get the idea.
I know how to communicate. Perfectly in fact. That doesn’t stop me from daily communication breakdowns. Sometimes I fail intentionally. Sometimes my emotions take over and I simply can’t help myself. Usually the failure is caused by a dose of mental or physical laziness. You have communication malfunctions too. Probably many more than you recognize or would like to admit. Let’s raise the bar. Come see me, talk to me, tell me your fears and failures. I take odds that most are caused by an inability to excel in areas of talking, writing, emoting, describing, etc. I looked at other blogs on these subjects and what to my wondering eyes did appear, only yesterday? A blog posting dedicated to the effective handshake. Come on people. How many times do you need to hear ‘don’t wear blue eye shadow’? Are you just not listening? It’s not your fault though. We lie to each other so much that one research report claims that as much as 30% of our daily communication is lying to each other. How do you know that your handshake is yucky if no one tells you? We will fix all that from the little things like handshakes to the big things concerning conflict negotiations and marital bliss.
This blog will be about communication; verbal, non-verbal and visual. This is not a grammar class. Please do not send corrections to my split infinitives or improper use of subjunctive clauses. I only recently learned that there was a difference between the words affect and effect. And I have to get my Strunk and White daily to check myself. Grammar is important. It is annoying when advertisers misspell words on billboards or blatantly use our language incorrectly to make a point. I write like I speak and leave the rest to spell check. I do try, however, and on a regular basis pay homage to the (wo)man who gave the grammar/spelling intelligence to the computer and took it away from those of us who are admittedly inadequate. At last I have a role model.
Check in regularly and you will find out why you are not that good at knowing how others perceive you and what to do about it. It’s not that you can’t get by without knowing. You have managed thus far. But you choose – ordinary or extraordinary.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008