I had the romantic idea that Google was named after google buns in the Far Away Tree, written by Enid Blyton. It wasn’t. Do I feel negative about the fact I was incorrect? No, it makes me remember the bun with a large raison in the middle filled with sherbet. I smile because I read these books to my daughter at bed time. Who could feel bad about that?
It does, however, raise some interesting questions about what thought processes are at the forefront of a persons mind. Are they in the right head-space to be coached? How open are they about their issues and to other ways of receiving, investigating and delivering their priorities? How do they like to express their ideas? What words do they use? What is affecting their lives and possibly their work?
If I do not understand someone, it is my duty to respectfully get the client to explain what they actually do mean.
If a person is worried about being seen to communicate effectively with another person, a boss perhaps, but not ask what they mean, all kinds of goofy things could happen, especially when there are tight deadlines.
Clear communication is, most of us believe, the central part of any conversation or message about information, intent or instruction. How is it then that it sometimes becomes Chinese whisphers? I thought they meant this, but they meant something else. I didn’t fully understand the context or the timing. My boss talks a lot and I didn’t want to be embarrassed by admitting I tuned out. I had no idea what she meant when she used that word!
Communication is more than context, more than transference of information and feed back. It also depends on those involved having the right information, delivering it easily and receiving it fully and having the confidence to speak up when needed in a timely manner. It is about understanding the agenda of all parties to ensure attention to the goal is as full as possible. It is like a contract, but do not be surprised if someone doesn’t buy in fully.
If you’re the boss, you may ask what credible reason could someone have for not being involved with the conversation the way you want? The employee may not feel it has much to do with them. Of course it does! Really? How are you communicating with them? Are you dumping your list down the virtual funnel and expecting everyone to get the point and get involved? Communication has to be more deliberate and more human than this to get the best results. They are not robots. What is your business missing out on because of communication issues? What communication issues? Looked at the spreadsheet lately?
Coaches use inference, symbolic reframing, deliberate confusing statements to stun the receiver into accessing their subconscious in a more person friendly way. These methods can all be used, but the most common type for me as a coach is helping you to reframe – saying something a different way to get a better feeling and action from it, but keeping it based in reality or truth. This can yield some great results in the practical world. However, the most important of all these tools is listening. If someone doesn’t understand you, you can sometimes hear it and see it without them knowing they have expressed it. That’s part of being a good coach and it helps people understand their leadership process better.
If I have said this once I’ve said it a thousand times to my dear husband, “You are responsible for how you are heard.” 😉
It doesn’t make the boss the notice what you are saying if they do not believe it is relevant, or have not had the opportunity to consider the relevancy. Sometimes the deliverer of the message may require some help to get the message across.
When communication is in need of improvement for an individual (on one side or the other) it can damage their self esteem because they may believe the person they are communicating with simply does not value their input. They do not feel significant to the other person. This can be debilitating and cause less communication, stifling the situation into a deafening silence. Not good for a friendship, marriage or business.
For those interested, Google was misspelled. The founders had intended it to be Googol and before that “Back Rub’! I bet they are very happy with their results now, though.