Word Of the Week #25: Communication

April 20, 2009 by  

Communication: putting oneself into close connection or relationship with another person to create complete understanding.

Jacqueline Communicating

Granddaughter Jacqueline Communicating

A quote I use in my programs comes from one of my favorite cartoons, Kathy. She says, “My words came out fine. They were processed incorrectly by your brain! ” How many times has that happened to you? You think you are speaking clearly and the other person just doesn’t get it.

We all have different filters and images in our brains. I will never forget the conversation I had with one of my audience members. I said, “When I get a real job, I want to be a cocktail waitress at a pool bar.” Her reply was, “How could you stand all that smoke?” I’m sure I had a puzzled look on my face and it took me a few seconds to realize that she had an image of a billiard hall. My image was in Maui, or some other exotic place, and I was outside having fun serving cocktails and food around the pool!

One of the best things you can do when you are serving your guests, customers or members is to always repeat back what they say. That way there is not misunderstanding. When it comes to food or drink orders it will save you lots of time and hassle because you got their order right the first time.

Good communicators listen 60% to 70% of the time and only speak 30% to 40% of the time. This week focus on listening and repeating back what the other person said.

Reader Responses

“Thanks for continuing to send the words of the week. These are like vitamins for the service brain and we appreciate your nutritional supplements.” — Michael P. Ryan

“Communication . . .that can be a real humdinger of a challenge when my husband and I are communicating. You talk about brains being wired differently! I don’t know how many times he’s gotten that “I have no idea what you’re talking about” look on his face. I always know what I’m talking about, so it just amazes me that he can’t figure it out. For the most part, when I start over and actually give him a reference point for our conversation (actually tell him the subject), I find that he understands perfectly well what I’m talking about.” — Terry L. Green

“Thank you for your WOWs. I forward them to all our department heads and they enjoy them.” — George Schwab