Being Present to How You Communicate
What we as humans have over all the animals is the ability to communicate in order to be heard and understood. So why is it that we aren’t being heard and so often misunderstood when communicating?
The languages of the world were developed for the purpose of understanding for everyday communication, to relate stories of historical value, and develop societies for the greater good of all. Yet, we as a people continue to walk a thin line of communicating for that purpose. We speak and are often misunderstood or just not heard.
While walking through the woods, I noticed the differences in the sounds of the birds. Although I noticed the tweets and crackles, high pitched whistles and guttural squawks, I still have difficulty identifying the birds by their calls. I listen intensely for their styles of communication and become enthralled by the transmitter and receiver with little pause, answering back with the same intensity they had heard. It frustrates me, but as a fairly new birder, I know I will, with practice, be able to match the voice with the bird.
Within a short time of listening and observing, I noticed a beautiful light brown bird with a buff belly, black capped head and streak of white on its face. I wanted desperately to identify that bird. I listened to its call. Luckily for us, we had an ap on our cell phone. We were able to determine the bird and played back its song. It was a Carolina Chickadee. The bird responded to the recorded voice with the same pitch as it heard. We played it again and it responded. We felt it was unkind to continue so we stopped. What I was present to was the need for the bird to communicate after hearing what was transmitted. Isn’t that the need of human beings? We hear someone give us a message and we have the need to respond. But, what is the message, how was it transmitted, and did we receive it as it was meant to be received?
While walking through a local coffee shop, I heard a short, but telling conversation between a man and a woman who were enjoying their cups of coffee. I admit I only heard the part I will relate. but this gave me the impetus to consider the title to this blog.
The gentleman in an “I know what I am talking about” manner related part of a story. Then he said, “You just don’t understand.” The woman in a defensive manner said, “I don’t understand because I am stupid or what?” That was all I heard. The words and the tone with which they were transmitted created a tense atmosphere. I thought, what would have been a better way to have gotten the man’s point across? Think about that for a minute, then read on. What he did was put the blame on the woman he was conversing with. Perhaps his explanation needed some consideration. He could have taken responsibility for the explanation: Maybe I wasn’t clear; What can I clarify for you?
Being present to your style of communication will open the receiver to want to hear and understand you. It is a give and take. If your line of transmission is obstructed, the message will not come through as you intended. Remember, the word of the Verizon commercial: “Can you hear me, can you hear me now?” Be present to your words, your tone, and your body language. How you send out your message will determine how you are heard and responded to. Keep the lines of communication open for the greater good of all.