I'm having excellent conversations wrapped around the concept that there are two communication styles: those on the stage and those in the audience and so I thought I'd follow up with a few additional thoughts.
First question: what if the person always on the stage doesn't realize they are on the stage – how do you encourage them to TAKE A SEAT so someone else can talk? Hmmm.
Second question: what happens if you ANTICIPATE what the other is going to say/ask without truly listening?
Here's a little story from my ancient history. I went on a dinner date with a guy and it had been a while since I'd gone out and so I was a little nervous. I was having a really nice time and I thought he was too. He walked me to the door to say good night and I could sense that he was going to ask me out again. I knew he was going to ask "would you like to go out again?" I had my YES at the ready.
"Yes!" I said, enthusiastically. He gave me a strange look and said okay, good night. Perhaps I was too animated?
went by. Days turned into weeks and no phone call. Hmmm.
I replayed the conversation and realized that what he actually asked was this "Would you mind if I called again?"
"Yes" was not the correct answer.
Think about the number of times you greet someone and just assume they are going to ask "how are you?" You answer "fine" before realizing they've been creative and asked you something entirely different?
Give the person you are conversing with the opportunity to ask their question or make their statement BEFORE forming your answer. Often times I'll be talking with someone who jumps the gun and tries to put words in my mouth/thoughts/feelings in my head. After awhile it takes too much effort to correct them.
Don't let a business or personal relationship wane because of poor two-way communication.
My dad made a good point when talking about this subject: true communication doesn't occur until the sender's message is CORRECTLY heard by the receiver.
Lots to think about today. What do you think?
Deborah Chaddock Brown