The way of the word
WORDS. We hear them, read them and are driven by them every day. How many do you use and to what effect?
Recently I was involved in an interesting experience in which the conversation was dominated by one person. This person seemed blindly unaware of the impact that their stream of consciousness/verbal diatribe was having on their audience that - politely perhaps - couldn't escape. The outpouring was liberally littered with obscenities that added no value to what was being said and in fact diminished the willingness of people to listen.
As an extrovert, I've also had a tendency to speak my thoughts to find a main idea that could be shaped and developed into some practical outcome. The effect of that was to thoroughly confuse my team, my wife and from time to time my friends as I'd take them on a journey which often would go so far left of field that it became fantasy rather than a solution.
The adage that the only thing I have control over in this world is me, got me thinking about the value of words and the gift we've been given regarding language, thought and the capacity to speak. It has also had me review the words that I use, the thinking and intention behind those words and very much the impact on others of what I say or write.
What that has done is to make me listen more and express less. It has made me realise that communication done well is almost an art form and is driven by the value we place on the other person or people who are involved in any dialogue.
The greatest writers of our age use a paucity of words to convey powerful meaning which connects with the reader. Imagine if we all could do that. Use the bare minimum of well thought out words, clearly focused on subject and listener, that provide simple clarity in either reader or listener and that connect them in a way that assists to resolve issues or solve problems.
How much awareness do you have about the impact of your words? How much time do you spend considering your intention behind what you say? Is it your ego shaping your comment so you're competing with others or are you committed to being clear?
Personally I do not see myself as a great communicator. I'd really like to be, and given my response to the situation I described earlier there's plenty of room for a lot more practice on my part.
How about you?
Nick Bennett is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: www.mindsaligned.com.au