Communication—Sharing Common Ground

workplace communication

Say you just met your favorite actor on the street. He signed you an autograph, treated you like a friend, and took some pictures with you. First thing you want to do after that is tell everybody what just happened, right? You want to call your boyfriend or girlfriend and anyone who means anything to you. Now imagine that, for some powerful reason, you can’t tell that story to anyone. What happens then is ironic: no matter how wonderful the experience was, it’s as though it never happened.

Experiences and ideas, while always personal, are actually defined by the common ground where we share them. This is crucial in an organization. Many times you notice nobody seems to see a problem or a solution that is evident to you. And while this may be true, consider that your point of view is as unique as the position you have in a team. Nobody has the same position as you, so nobody sees things from your particular standpoint.

Nobody does the same job as you, so nobody sees things from your particular standpoint. Click To Tweet

Having an idea and not sharing it is like having no idea at all. There are no obvious ideas in a company and speaking-up is sometimes your only choice as a responsible business partner. However, communication doesn’t end there. In fact, you must be ready to discuss those ideas and receive feedback and criticism, which is a healthy way to arrive at the best possible results.

Having an idea and not sharing it is like having no idea at all. Click To Tweet

Opinions and ideas may change, transform into something totally different, or ultimately be discarded… which is perfectly fine. We often hear people asking for their ideas and opinions to be respected, but that’s a pointless request. We must respect people above all, as their integrity is fundamental to human relations, but their ideas—your ideas—are always subject to a civilized discussion. In a work environment, new ideas may come from a single individual, but their final version is usually a team effort.

New ideas may come from a single individual, but their final version is usually a team effort. Click To Tweet

Now, if you want to be heard, you need to think of the best way to communicate with others. Phones and emails are great working tools, but sometimes we need to go back to basics. If phones made us lose the body language inherent in a personal conversation, with emails we went even further and lost the subtle character of our voices. It’s not an accident that social media constantly incorporates voice messages, emojis, and other forms of non-written communication. Sometimes reading words is not enough, and it’s up to you to choose the best way to speak your mind.

Sometimes reading words is not enough, and it’s up to you to choose the best way to speak your… Click To Tweet

Of course, conveying ideas has an important counterpart: the message receiver. Depending on the situation, you will be on either side of the process. Some people are really great at creating and communicating ideas, but not so much at listening to them. This is understandable. Assimilating new points of view means somehow veering from a path, and not everybody takes that kind of challenge easily. Listening or accepting new ideas requires a certain disposition, a pause in your own thinking—a moment of silence, as it were, on your side. In other words, listening takes patience.

Listening requires a certain disposition, a pause in your own thinking, a moment of silence. Click To Tweet

A real challenge, right? Let’s say it’s something to think about the next time you run into Meryl Streep in the middle of the street!

 

Don Karn Networking Times
Don Karm

Don Karn is vice president of North American markets for an international network marketing company. He is a board member of Gabriel Media Group, Inc., publishers of Networking Times, and a board member of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals.

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