I have over the years talked about messages and communication. It is a long time topic, and an area of significant personal interest. I got a great
Email the other day. A long time reader asked me to share what are some subtle communications things you can do that send a message you may not have realized you sent.
I thought about that, its a great question. Each communication pattern and its corresponding anti-pattern sends any number of signals to the people around them. Some of those signals are received by the person getting them differently than intended some are received as intended but the intent wasn’t nice.
How do you balance that? The easy way is by saying did you mean to do that? But there is inherent risk in that model, you are exposed for a moment to the person who or may not have intended to send you a nasty message.
Six qui k ways to send a message:
- During a meeting ask someone to leave the room.
- Don’t engage the person in the room in a conversation. While everyone is chatting, ignore one person in the room.
- Explain c concepts to one person in the room as though they were 8 years old
- Don’t invite that person to a meeting (the afterthought invitation)
- Interrupt that person every time they speak
- Question an expert on their thoughts without basis
All of these send messages to the person that is sucked into the vortex. Now, the question is always did the person intend to send a message. If they did, then you are right to react. If they didn’t you have to ask that person. That’s the risk within communication. If you ask you expose yourself. If you don’t ask you risk offending someone you never meant to offend you.
- Add the complexity of the devices we have and communication goes down hill fast. Brief emails may just mean someone gets a lot of emails. Short phone conversations may be because that person isn’t comfortable talking on the phone. Text messaging works well for many things, but it is brief and locked so you run a risk.
- Brevity is the friend and enemy of conversation.
- Conversation is how you impact people.
- So let’s leave this communication blog with the following thought. Start off by evaluating should I care. There are people in this world you should care about and people you should ignore.
- Question 1: Do I care what this person things of me?
- Question 2: Is what this person thinks true (self-evaluation) if yes work to change it. If no, go question 1.
- Question 3: Is this person fair.
- The last one is the hardest to do. Why? It means you have to be fair, first. No matter what you have to evaluate the person speaking and determine if they are fair first. That means you have to be fair.
- Communication is a tricky problem. All of us succeed and all of us fail when communicating. The reality of where we are and what we say is huge. Look around and make sure you didn’t just ruin someone’s day.
- long time communications wanderer