Everyone has communication issues, even a professional communicator. The trick is to figure out your particular issue and work on it. So far this blog has been a terrific tool for me to put some (semi)formal structure around my “aha” moments and has allowed me to really focus my thoughts. In that process, I’ve been able to identify one area in particular where I need to fortify myself. In the interest of transparency and accountability (great communication principles), I’m going to come clean right here.
What I’ve learned about myself is that I lack grace in certain situations. For example, if I’ve told someone something once, I don’t want to tell him again–and I’m often less pleasant when it comes to round 2. My brother could probably cite several recent instances where he bore the brunt of my affliction, but I hope he doesn’t. I’m sure you understand what I mean without his help.
Now, there are tons of reasons why someone might ask the same question twice or more. Maybe he didn’t understand my answer (I need to talk smarter). Maybe the email/text/voice mail with my answer didn’t go through (technical difficulties). Maybe my answer didn’t really address his question (operator error). Or maybe, just maybe, he’s human (occasionally error-prone, no one is immune).
Thankfully, my get-it-right-the-first-time attitude doesn’t always rear its ugly head, but when it does, I know it undermines my effectiveness as a communicator. I appear less approachable and less cooperative. Ouch, that hurts.
Now that I’ve told you about it, I’m going to work on it. What are YOU going to work on?