I am now back after an amazing 12 days being an apprentice with Marian Way of Apricot Island. It was great to re visit the Clean Language training that is at the heart of Step by Step Listening.
I was reminded this time how the English language, is forever changing and evolving. The Oxford Dictionary is constantly being updated. It is no wonder that communications across the generations often fail.
The age of IT means that there are more and more things described in terms of acronyms. A great example of which is L.o.l.
I realised this week that many adults still think this means lots of love. Imagine the breakdown in communications when lol was placed at the bottom of an email to a widow.
How accurately are you communicating?
Do you really know what the other person means or are you assuming too much?
As a society, but predominantly the younger generation we are communicating more and more via text, msn email and facebook with abbreviations and acronyms. The meaning of the words and phrases are changing rapidly, therefore it is of no surprise to me to find that some employers are finding it hard to communicate with the younger members of the team.
One word that I hear challenged a lot is the word – respect. I have a personal belief that this word has changed in meaning drastically over the last 20 years.
To the younger generation I have spoken to it means I am with you, I am supporting you and I agree with you. A 15 year old recently told me it meant “ Respect is something you give someone when you agree or like something they have done, people earn it.”
Ask someone older it means something like: You show respect to someone by agreeing with them because you are honouring their age/experience/wisdom/position of authority or perhaps rank. You may not agree with them but due to your obligation to honour one or more of the above , you keep your own opinions to yourself.
Imagine the confusion for the younger generation when asked to show respect!! They think they cant if what the person is doing they consider to be unacceptable or not ok.
So what needs to happen to clean up the communication channel’s.
Step 1 Communicate from a place of NO ASSUMPTION.( imagine you know nothing until you have asked the question and heard the answer)
Step 2 Ask the right questions to clarify not judge or criticise. ( tone of voice is important hear)
Step 3 Only use the other persons words ensuring you don’t put your interpretation into the conversation.
Try these questions* and let me know what happens next.
What kind of is (add the word you would like to clarify)is that…………………..?
Is there anything else about ……………………..?
When …………..that’s like what?
Looking Forward to Listening
*Questions were developed by David Grove in the 1980’s