GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


October 15, 2014

Ineffective Communication

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:29 am

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The Grasshopper defined “Ineffective Communication” for me the other day: “Asking questions you’re not invested in.

After I forgave him for ending a sentence in a preposition, I began to inspect how often I ask without investment. What I found was that each time I did, I was not reaching the person.

“How are you doing in school?” That could be near the top of the list unless you’re a guidance counselor. If you said nothing, you’d communicate more than you do with that kind of question.

“How was your day?” is also quite disingenuous. If that’s as curious as you are about someone, you’re just asking to ask.

Have genuine curiosity when you ask a question and you will reach the person more often than not. And ask with specificity. “I know you had a meeting with the doctor today. What did she say about your shoulder?”

I wrote a blog post in 2009 titled “Small Talk” which approaches the topic from a different angle. The opening sentence from the post is worth restating: “It seems as though it’s the currency of connection but, in the long haul, it’s Monopoly money – Small Talk.”

We need to play a much bigger game if we wish to reach another person.

It begins with investing yourself in a question. Have a stake in the interaction and you’re more likely to get a dividend.

Without investment, you’ll remain a poor communicator.

All the best,

John



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