DINK #309 Weathering The New Communication Storm

Posted on : 22-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication

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What changes in the way you communicate with  friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances have you noticed lately?  In this morning’s conversation with a fellow Coach, we were comparing notes on what people seemed to want and need lately (at least in terms of coaching) and we agreed that there seems to be less of an interest in acquiring/learning information and more of a need to be heard and walked through a process.  Most of us realize that what we really need and want is to be seen and heard; however, in this techn0freeky world we all seem to be clamoring to the top louder than ever with everyone ripping frenzy (similar to tearing one’s shirt off as they are running) to see the “next great thing, person or idea” before “everyone” else.  For many of us, what that means is a whole lot of us get left behind in the echoes thereby amplifying our frustration even deeper.

I’ve noticed that friends, family and colleagues are moving through their lives at a much faster clip—-I’ve been known to check my Facebook account while stopped at a traffic light!  In many of the blogs and newsletters that I follow, the authors have been talking about the great changes in humanity that are taking place now from a spiritual perspective (that we are also seeing take place in our physical reality such as the uproar in the Middle East).  The good news is that in addition to noticing the faster pace that we’re all moving, I am also aware that there are more people who are willing to stand up and say what they believe in and ask for what they need, in work, in relationships, as well as friendships, than ever before.  As Seth Godin said in his book, “Tribes”, “Many people are starting to realize that they work a lot and that working on stuff they believe in (and making things happen) is much more satisfying than just getting a paycheck and waiting to get fired (or die).”

So how do we navigate through the rough waters of career/job instability,  political unrest, market changes, etc.?  We have to first realize that “change is inevitable and that suffering is an option” (Al-Anon “Courage to Change”).  Change has always been happening from the first Eukaryotic Cell (http://bit.ly/hYeKgr) to the wide variety of species that inhabit planet Earth.  And no matter how old you are right now,  you have gone through many evolution and changes to get to where you are and who you are now.  As Human Beings, we’ve been given the tools that we need to not only weather change but thrive in change.  And for any tools that we don’t have in our cache already, there are all kinds of avenues available for us to explore to find what we need.  Changes in the world of business are no exception.  Maybe each generation has this same feeling of unbelievable change from “how it was and how it is supposed to be to what it is now” and I believe that the way that we communicate with each other is only heightening the breadth of the chasm between how we understand our world and what it is becoming.

Whether you are an information age geek who enjoys all the tweets and fijasms (a sexy way of saying technology) available for communication or you have either chosen or been forced to slide off the grid—there are ways that we can weather this new communication storm and come out on top of the wave as it morphs.  Three ideas that I try to keep in mind that have helped me in not only communicating with others, but also connecting are:

1.) There’s a human being at the other end of the line.   Whatever tool I’m using to communicate with and however broad the reach—it’s good for me to remember that there is a human (or a bunch of humans) at the other end of my line.  Visualizing a face and hearing their response helps me to remember to respond well and not react.

2.) No matter how hard my day is going (or been) your day has probably been much worse.  In the heat of the moment, nobody really cares what is going on in my world–not yet—not really.  When we care about each other is when we remember to slow down, step back and acknowledge the other person and give them a little bit of time to be heard. Just a little bit is usually all it takes for someone to relax into feeling connected and wanting to connect with you…….when it becomes something lengthier, then there is usually something else going on that needs to be addressed that won’t get handled in one tweet, FB, LI, Chat, email or phone call.

3.) You can never take back the spoken or written word.  Sure, you can make amends for them but once that harsh word has left your lips and made it to the ears of the other person or those bitter written words have lifted off into the ethers and made it to the other side….then you are left with the consequences of your choice to vent and react rather than take a few deep breaths and think about why you need to say what you think you need to say and how you’re going to say it.

These are just a few of the basic lessons that I’ve learned while surfing along in the high waves of communication change.  There are many good things that are coming down the pike from the huge massive onslaught of mega-mass communication least of which is that many of us breaking off into smaller groups which allow us to find more of the kinds of people who we want to interact with then ever before. The trick is for us to remember how to treat other people like we would want to be treated along the way.

What impact have you witnessed in your own life because of the change in how you communicate with others?

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