Being Present to How You Communicate

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.

“The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

January 1, 2012

First Blog of many to come from The Gift of Presence 

How you can give “The gift that keeps on giving”

For parents, teachers, leaders in companies, and anyone who lives and breathes.

WELCOME!!!  The new year is here and I am making a promise to myself to grow with the season.  You are the recipient of a brand new blog that will give you the opportunity to contemplate what has made you grow to be the person you are today.  What and who has given you the inspiration to go beyond the ordinary? Or in some cases, what do you still need in order to fulfill your promise to yourself?  And if you haven’t made a promise, what are you waiting for?

When I was a teacher, I would call the roll and the students would answer, “Present”.   Sure they were in their seats, but were they truly present?  Were they ready to listen, able to express their emotionsflexible and open to ideasavailable to assist others and demonstrate true authenticity that would enable them to trust and connect with their peers and their teacher? 

Being present is all of the above and can become “The gift that keeps on giving”.

I was in second grade, just eight years old.  I now am at the age where I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast, but I can remember the experience I had with Miss Scheib at P.S. 216 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

It was Parent Visitation Day.  Miss Scheib sat at her desk wearing a maroon gabardine suit. Her right leg was extended wearing a cast that she “won” due to a skiing mishap.  She had shiny brown hair in a page boy style.  She spoke softly, yet was exciting in her teaching methods.  It was snack time and in her sweet voice she noticed my mother, who was pregnant with my brother, and asked if she would like a container of milk.  It is as if I were there today.  I visualize the moment.  Why? Because Miss Scheib had presence.  She knew how to listen and observe and connect with her students.  She had the emotional ability to see into a situation.  She taught me, unconsciously perhaps, that this is what is important in communication and relationship building. Just be; be available to others; be ready to act with flexibility; be a role model so your legacy will be embraced by others to bring our world to a better place.

I became a teacher, a second grade teacher.  I remembered the gift Miss Scheib gave me.  And for 35 years, I gave that same gift to my students, my friends, my family, and my colleagues.  Today I am a leadership and life coach.  It is my promise to my clients to give them “the gift of presence” so they can facilitate their world of relationships to continue their legacy.  This gift monetarily costs nothing; however, not giving it can cost another their individuality, their sense of well being, and their lust for life.  The gift of presence makes the garden grow.  Today is your day, in the new season, to be present to those who you can give this gift to.  Simply said: be there, listen, and show you care.

Who will you start with today?  You will get back a tremendous sense of well being.  And who doesn’t need that in today’s world?

  • Please send me stories of who, due to presence, inspired you to be who you are today.
  • Let me know how your presence inspired others.

Let’s inspire each other by what we have to share.

*Invite a friend or colleague to lunch.  Ask an open ended question.  Then be there to listen.  Simple, but so profound.

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