My daughter called me the other day on ‘hands free’. It went something like this …
ME: “Hello, how are you?”
DAUGHTER: “F… …nks. Would you like .. c.me .. an ar…..lo..cal .ig?”
ME: “Come to what?”
DAUGHTER: “…..logi.. .ig”. “..ester Farm”
Me: “A logical pig?”
Daughter: “No Mother! An arch…logic.. .ig.”
Me: “Yes Dear, that sounds like fun!”
I was completely bewildered & she was completely frustrated. I managed to piece together (further into the conversation) that she inviting me to go with her to volunteer on an archeological dig at a local farm. I’d already agreed before I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for.
The interference on hands free made the conversation very difficult. My daughter didn’t really know if I got the message as I was providing her with polite “that’s good”, “yes”, “ok” to save her repeating it for the n
th time. I didn't know if I’d got the entire message as most of it was garbled or missing. Shouting didn’t make it any clearer, it just annoyed the people next to me; saying it slower meant I didn't know whether she was ‘tutting’ with impatience or we’d lost signal temporarily.
It’s not just on hands-free that interference gets in the way. Generally, we all have to deal with it in some form or another when we want to get a message across. Unfortunately it comes in many forms & disguises.
Physical noise – people talking loudly in the office; people’s emotions – we can filter out what we want to receive according to how we are feeling; lack of clarity – waffling confuses the main message; time restrictions – denies the opportunity to elaborate or check understanding; lack of attention – multi-tasking means our attentions can be elsewhere etc.
One, some or all of these alter the meaning of the message, jumble it up & make it difficult to communicate. Whether you are the transmitter or the receiver you can help make the message clearer by using the insights below:
5 Insights to Better Communication
1. Identify any present or possible interference
2. Take steps to remove (or at least, reduce) interference
3. Follow up with another form of messaging to repeat &/or clarify the first
4. Get feedback by asking the recipient to repeat what they have understood - feedback
5. Smile when you communicate (unless this would be totally inappropriate)
From now on, when my daughter calls on hands-free, I’m just going to smile & say “call me when you’re parked.” It will be quicker, safer, less stressful & I won’t end up elbow deep in mud looking for broken bits of pottery when I could be sipping something cool whilst watching bees in my garden.
If you’d like to know more about communicating with a specific person or group or even yourself, or have any questions, please contact me through the contact page at www.ivyworklifebalancecoaching.co.uk
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I’m covering all aspects of communication this month – writing (texting), speaking & listening. Posts are thought provoking, humorous (most of the time) & informative. Click on, like & follow!
July 2pm. I’m on Inspiration FM again doing my monthly Life Coach guest slot on Ladies Talk.. The subject will be about Communication with some fascinating interviews with the presenter Wana, from the Test Tower in Northampton. Tune in to 107.8 FM live or http://inspirationfm.co.uk/
live or on catch up.