Communication: More Than Words
By Ken Vogel
Communication is such a vital part of our each and every day. At least, I think that is what my wife was saying to me the other day, I can’t really remember. The thing about communication, is it’s a skill. Everyone has the innate ability to communicate, but everyone looks different in HOW they communicate. We’ve come a long way to realize how not everyone learns the same, why doesn’t that same intuitiveness carry over to when we speak to each other? We attach overarching character attributes and we quickly assign someone with a communication label. You are an introvert? That means you don’t like people and therefore are unable to, or struggle with, general conversation. Extrovert? We need someone to present a speech in front of a few hundred people, how long you need to prepare? 24 hours? What about volume? Does the decibel level correlate with the comfort level? We know, as a general population, that we are better at the act of speaking than the art of listening. Are you an active listener, or simply waiting for your turn to speak? Communication is not a side text of who we are, it is a direct correlation. The picture of you that I leave with is much less of a mirror and in fact a painting of verbal and nonverbal intel communicated to me regardless of your intention. You speak to me simply by the way I observe the way you speaking to someone across the room. The words were not TO ME, but they didn’t have to be. They weren’t FOR ME, but they were formulated by me. The words weren’t ABOUT ME, yet they have left an impression. First impressions are thought to be inaccurate due to snap decisions and quick judgement, when it has much more to do with how inaccurately we filter through unintended cues from the opposite person.