I don’t know about you, but I think the word communication is becoming obsolete. In fact, I don’t know if anyone knows what the word means anymore.
For some, communication means a chain of twenty or more text messages. For others, it means responding to a voicemail with an email instead of a phone call.
And for most contractors in my town, it means ignoring you completely.
I’m a communicator, which means I want to make sure people are clear on things and that there are no misunderstandings. As an example, if I have a meeting to go to, I want people to know whether I’ll be attending it, what time I’ll be getting there, and if I’m running late.
Communication is becoming a lost art. It seems fewer people know how to do it, and even fewer know how to fix it when it isn’t going well.
It’s easy to ignore someone when they’re angry with you or when you have to tell them something they don’t want to hear, but does that really fix the problem?
No. It only makes it worse. Think about it, do you like being ignored?
Me either, and neither does the person you might be ignoring.
I’m no expert, and I haven’t always been good at it, but I do my best to communicate with others. It’s one reason I like to write.
So, I’m offering 3 tips - absolutely free of charge! - that have helped me get better at keeping the lines of communication open. If you’re already doing them, then you have my permission to stop reading now. But if you aren’t, by all means, please read on.
1. Set expectations. No doubt about it, this is number one on the list. If you know you aren’t going to call someone, don’t tell them you will. If you know you aren’t going to meet them until Thursday, don’t tell them it will be Tuesday. Over-promising is always, always, always a mistake.
2. Pick up the phone and dial. Smartphones are amazing but believe it or not, phone calls were actually invented before the text message or the ESPN app. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about typos or that someone will misunderstand the intent of your text.
3. The Golden Rule applies here, too. Matthew 7:12 tells us to “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” If you would be upset because someone didn’t keep you in the loop, then you should probably be keeping them in the loop. If you would appreciate a call back, then you should probably call someone back. I think you get the idea.
So, here’s the takeaway of today’s blog—learn how to be a better communicator. The people in your life will appreciate it.
And read your Bible. There’s a lot of good advice in there.