“Words don’t come easy to me” is the name of a song by F R David. You may remember it?
The essence of the lyrics is him wanting to tell someone he loves them but doesn’t know how, other than writing the words in a song.
Often, we may not know what to say to someone, let alone know what words to say to people, especially when there is conflict and emotions are involved. It comes down to communication and how and when we communicate and by what means that best suits the situation.
If we were to look at it from a technology angle, for example, good quality transmission and great reception will enable the listener to hear what is being said very easily. However, if we look at how we all communicate, we have a sender and a receiver, we have environment that ‘gets in the way’ as well as the barriers that people use to filter out what they want and don’t want to hear.
We are often dealing with the unknown when we communicate with people. We need to understand them, how they operate, how they learn, so we can determine what words or medium to use for explaining what point we want to get across.
We know it’s up to the sender of the information to determine the receiver has fully understood the message. But how can we do this without being either patronising or obvious we are ‘treating them like they don’t understand’? We could look at how adults are with children when trying to explain things. If the child doesn’t understand we need to either show them via an example or illustration, or word it in a different way until the child understands.
As adults we need to tackle this a little differently in that we still need to check the person has understood, finding a way to do this that best suits the person’s learning styles.
As a manager or team leader, we know our team members will all have different learning styles, and so we need to find a way to accommodate everyone and work at explaining things in a way that everyone gets the message. Ensuring the transmission is good quality and the reception is clear is a good way to start.