I have recently observed the developing language skills of a toddler around two and a half years young. The words they speak are often a repetition, in their own way, of those spoken to them in meaningful forms such as a hello, instruction, explanation and thanksgiving. As they grow in confidence they begin to form their own vocabulary that is expressed in around three to five words.
Communication is an assortment of forms and characteristics that represent how contrasting cultures and civilizations get by. One of my most popular blogs that I have published back in 2017 Expectation of Communication outlines the vital role communication has in every aspect of our lives. Our discussions may be long winded and confusing, with the hearer not fully understanding the nature of the chat. They may be brief and detailed without offering a required level of meaning.
Generally our conversations include a greeting, intention, clarification and appreciation expressed verbally, in a written form, through eye contact, body language and the power of silence.
If we use the smart phone to make most of our communications then it will take place through speaking, email, text, photos and face time.
The level of contact will invariable begin with some form of greeting. Hello – Hi – How are you. We may go straight to a question or point we want to ask without offering a greeting! Many people may simply use a mojo or picture to express good or bad feelings rather than a friendly greeting.
After the greeting there will be the intention of the message that includes love, joy, frustration, anger, good and bad news, fun, laughter. We all have sent and received an email, text or voice mail that contains misspelt words and confusing messages that can accidentally change the intended meaning in a funny or serious way.
Following any messages of intent, we may have to continue the dialogue to ensure that we have clarified any misunderstandings that may have arisen so that the true purpose of the message is fully understood. It is important to be polite when clarifying our communication so as to convey a sense of understanding and concern which maintains a high standard of social etiquette.
If we start a conversation in a positive way then it is equally important to conclude it in a wholesome manner. We have confirmed and shared together certain plans for the day or future. We express our sincere love and prayers to those we are messaging, which makes such a difference. In sharing our farewells we convey heartfelt sentiments related to people’s daily experiences that offers a strength for the present and a hope for the future, so firming up a bond of friendship that will resonates long after the message has been received.
In the book of Proverbs 15 v 1 it says that “a gentle (short) answer turns away wrath, but a harsh (long) word stirs up anger. The tongue (speech) of the wise commands knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” v 4 “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Many areas of discussion relate to subjects such as law, travel, building regulations, health, wealth and disputes and in such liaisons the messages may be:
- Listened to rather than ignored: seen for what is shared and not misread.
- They may embody understanding: as opposed to a lack of empathy.
- The length of time shared: may be rushed, tempered or laboured.
In this context we may say that somethings are less said and least mended. In any areas of difficulty and dispute it will be vital to find common ground that may act as a basis for forgiveness and future reconciliation.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed a lovely holiday in Cape Verde. However, I soon realised on arriving that I was unable to access any data on my smart phone which meant I could not connect to the hotels Wi-Fi or use the internet or any form of social media. All I was able to do was to make and receive phone calls and text messages. Annoyed, I contacted my phone provider and after three hours and lots of words exchanged, I gave up all hope and decided to go into data freefall after they kept pressing me with the brief words: ‘we can’t help you!’ It was ironic that I had landed on the Island of No Stress!
Having reflected on my experience it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it represented a data and social media free holiday which I hadn’t experienced for the last fifteen years or so. It allowed me extra time to enjoy the peace and quiet while walking, swimming and resting. So think about your levels of communication that you engage in on a daily basis.
Be more confident that you can communicate successfully by using a three or five word sentence, as exampled below and noted by a more long winded adult compared to a very confident toddler!
- How do you greet people? Hi, are you well!
- What are your true intentions? Want a lift?
- How can you improve areas of clarification? Be there at 7pm!
- How do you conclude your messages and express your thanksgivings? Have a lovely day.
No stress Graham