The Secret to Great Communication
"When it comes to communication, we can’t rehearse and listen at the same time."
- James McPartland
Did you ever play with water guns as a kid? Remember quickly refilling while thinking of what spot to aim for next?
The dictionary defines a conversation as an engagement between two individuals where ideas are exchanged. This sounds so simple, but somehow “improving communication skills” is one of the most sought-after Google searches when it comes to professional development.
And yet if communication is so simple, why do most individuals seek to know how to improve at it?
Communication is like a water gun fight. We speak and run out of water, then we refill and plan our next move while the other person is speaking. We aren’t really listening, only preparing our response.
We need to take the time to really listen.
When we listen to others only with the intention of crafting our response, we disrespect the speaker and who they are to us. And when that happens, miscommunication is bound to occur and an argument may spark.
So the next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone, take a moment to truly listen to what they are saying. Prepare your response only after you have taken in what they have said.
When we take the time to listen, the thing that is most likely to happen is we learn something.
And we could all stand to learn something.