WOW Word-Of-the-Week #349: Communication

April 12, 2011 by  

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

Have you ever had a conversation that was totally misunderstood? You thought you were being very clear and it just wasn’t? Do you ever repeat back what you heard just to make sure you understood it correctly?

I am speaking next week for the Greater Baltimore Club Managers on communication and motivation. I came across this past WOW and felt it was worth a rerun. 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, members or clients is to always repeat back what they say. (This works for family members too!) And that way there is no misunderstanding. When it comes to taking and filling orders it will save you lots of time and hassle because you will get it right the first time.

This week focus on clear communication. Do you give your full attention to the person communicating with you? Did you know that good communicators listen 60 to 70 percent of the time and only speak 30 to 40 percent of the time? Practice listening and repeating back what you hear.

Reader Responses

“Communication. Ahh, that is the key. It is always interesting between a husband and a wife. My wife will say something, and I will repeat what she said so that she knows why I did not understand her comment. In a number of cases, I will take it to mean something completely different than what Kristen had intended. And I know exactly what you mean about the filters. When Kristen is telling a long-winded story, I will leave the room to do something which will upset her. “You are doing just what my dad does to my mom!” Husbands filter out so much of what wives say, unless it is something we consider important. I think after a number of years, husbands and wives do this. With our daughters, I will be very clear as to what I want. I will say it explicitly so there is no misunderstanding. But I have learned to listen to others better, especially in the workplace. So there is no miscommunication. But it is very easy to have a failure to communicate. We are bombarded with so much information every day, it is hard to filter out all but the most important. So, we have to spend more time picking and choosing. Eventually, we all learn. Have a great weekend, Susan. Take care.” – “Warrior” Joe”

“Most important aspect of life and business!” – Kevin

“I love your WOW Word of the weeks!!! Thanks for sharing!” – Christine