In all your daily communications what expectations and realisations do you experience?
It can be argued that the normal experience for most of us is miscommunication!
So the ‘Mission Impossible/Possible’ for 2017 is to improve our levels of communication.
A simple definition of communication is the sending and receiving of a message between two parties. Sent ……………………… Message ………………………… Received
Megginson says that “communication is the process of transmitting meaning, ideas and understanding of a person or a group to another person or group.” So it’s a two way transaction that seeks a mutual understanding. It can involve a shared ‘encoding’ and ‘decoding’ of information which may include humans and non-humans.
There are different forms of communication:
1 Verbal and nonverbal language.
2 Written form: that comprises of words, ideas, faith, alongside opinions, values, thoughts and feelings.
3 Non-linguistic: that shows itself in the function of traffic lights and road signs, telegraphic and electronic media, as well as secret and open codes.
Basically communication ‘Connects or Disconnects’ people and groups depending on the subject matter and acts as a very important bridge of meaning.
A new law named the “right to disconnect” came into force in France from the 1 January 2017. French employees are being offered the legal right to disconnect from work emails outside the regular working week of 35 hours, so looking to establish a healthy work/life balance. In an increasing global work place the reality of being able to ‘disconnect’ at a certain time may seem a ‘Mission Impossible.’
Hugh Scofield comments that “all the studies show that there is far more work related stress today than there used to be and such stress is constant.”
One French MP is quoted as saying “you’re at home but you’re not at home.” We leave our physical place of work but often remain attached by a kind of electronic leash. Texts, messages and emails colonise the life of the individual.
There is then a real threat of employees experiencing physical, psychological and emotional burnout caused by an inability to ‘disconnect.’
The Greeks have two words for time:
Chronos (Chronology: a regular, sequential time with ‘Father Time’ it’s personification)
Kairos (Unconscious, creative, seasonal time which is essential for productive thinking)
A good employer will want to protect the Kairos time for their workers so as to avoid ‘communication overload.’ Such an effort to protect ‘workers private time’ is excellent. However, it may be questioned as to how realistically it can work out in practise?
Alongside government legislation, it is important for individuals to build up for themselves some form of ‘self-Kairos’ time. Such a season will ensure quality rest and creative thinking and maintain a good level of productivity at work, home and socially.
An interesting example of communication can be found in the story of Moses and the burning bush found in the Old Testament Exodus 3. Moses was out working as a Shepherd for his father in law Jethro.
In an ordinary life experience he encountered a Divine presence in the form of a continual flame that did not consume the physical bush that was nearby.
The Lord communicated to Moses that he had a different work for him which was shepherding people rather than sheep and a dialogue ensued. How was Moses to interpret such a communication as it was so different to the ordinary experiences of life? Moses accepted the ‘Mission Impossible’ given to him which changed his own life and those he went on to lead.
Stories from the past shared around an open or house fire was one of the main vehicles of oral communication with memory and understanding vital.
From such traditions we have a written record of history as understood from different viewpoints. This begs the question as to whether with all the advances in modern communication, we have improved or gone backwards in all areas of communication?
For a moment think of a situation that is challenging your capacity to send a particular message and to be confident that is has been received and understood?
From 1 – 10, what mark would you give for personal competency levels in your daily communications? (10 being the highest mark) ………………………………
How can you quantify that mark from a wider point of view? Is it possible to seek objective feedback to balance that mark? In what ways can you improve your skill level in all areas of communication?
There will be courses to attend that help to improve our listening skills? There are techniques that can enhance both verbal and visual communication. It is important to think about and work on the timing of communication which greatly affects a desired result.
Be kind to yourself. A good level of communication is when we feel comfortable enough to say things as they are, without too much coding, so that there is little requirement for decoding!
Where we may lack self-confidence and belief we can rest in being ourselves, which in turn will help our self-belief and confidence. It can empower us to respond in more positive tones to the messages and communications that we share to individuals and groups and so freeing us to ‘Connect and Disconnect’ where required.
So what expectations do you have from others in 2017?
Are you ready for the unexpected?
Are you communicating in the best way possible and pleased with the outcomes?
With Great Expectations
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