I have missed you. However, I needed to take a break from this project to tackle a few things going on. I got a new job which has taken up a fair amount of my time. Then in early August, I had an opportunity to go to London for an international conference. The short version is- it was AMAZING! Over the next few posts, I’ll update you on my learnings and experiences.
This conference had over 3,000 attendees from over 100 countries. It was an unbelievable experience to have so many different cultures represented. On the flip side of that, there were significant language barriers.
I was one of the lucky ones- English is my primary language. The vast majority of the attendees spoke English as a second, third or even fourth language. I was reminded very quickly that the same words mean different things to others. I was also reminded that I needed to slow down my communication by listening to listen, rather than listening to respond.
This experience reminded me of Thomas Gordon’s hypothesis on communication.
What the speaker means>
Words the speaker says>
Words the listener hears>
What the listener thinks the speaker means
The model reinforces both sides of communication- both the role of the listener and the speaker. As you are the speaker, choose your words carefully. Be aware that your choice of words-- and how you say them-- may mean something different. When you are in the role of the listener, fully listen. If one spends their time listening to respond, they will more than likely miss out on the speakers meaning.
This week, pay attention to your communication. Notice what your listening style is-- is it active or passive? Once you identify your role in communication breakdowns, make one change. Slow down; Listen fully; Don’t assume you know what someone means; Just listen.