Just as it’s important to write well, which is part of communication, in a holistic way, let’s look at what communication means to us in this big world.
Roy Lilley in his fantastic and informative book on Dealing with Difficult People says:
At the heart of every employee relationship problem, I have ever looked at lurked a 13-letter word: communication. Thirteen, got it? Unlucky for some.
There have been umpteen books written on this topic in different names, numerous TED Talks, and explained in detail at prominent schools, everybody invariably focusing, either directly or indirectly, on communication.
Corporates spend millions per year every year on their employees to focus on different seminars, workshops, and online learning subscriptions just to ensure their people are good at communication. As rightly mentioned by Roy Lilley, it’s hard to become a great communicator, but instead of becoming a ‘great’ one at it, let’s first look at simple and specific reasons why communication is the most important factor in our modern day society, just as it was important in the stone age.
1. Act: or Action. A simple reason for progress that is so simple that a baby knows it without knowing. Without action, there is no progress. There are no value additions. Communication will ensure action is taken.
2. Account: or accountability. Communication clarifies accountability for people to show what they are responsible for and what actions are needed. This alone ensures that there are people who are also aware of what other employees are responsible if it’s in a team setting.
3. Atomic: communication is so simple that it could be compared to atoms. It’s really atomic. So tiny, yet vital, just like the atoms that are exquisitely present in everything we see and feel in this world.
4. Commit: communication makes everyone, including yourself, commit to the task at hand. When I say yourself, it means the communication that you have with yourself in terms of self-given goals, thoughts, commitments, to-do lists, etc. The self-talk also matters which is the most important and the most frequent communication that you make in a day.
5. Caution: timely communication not only averts stupid mistakes, it also saves relationships. This word of caution takes the form of not-so-good but important-to-say kind of communication – for instance – communication on not being able to meet a deadline, falls under this category.
6. Comic: while communication is important, the way we communicate is also vital. Sometimes you have to inject comic or humor into it. As they say in some parts of the world, coat it with comic sense.
7. Communion: people thrive where communication happens. Communication eradicates the alienating behavior some people inadvertently show off by not communicating basic things under the name of ‘assuming’ or ‘assumptions’. Somebody cleverly said, ‘assume’ is nothing but making an ‘ass out of u and me‘.
8. Mountain: for some people communicating on time or just plain communication is so hard that it could be equated with climbing a mountain. It’s hard and takes humongous efforts as it seems to be a herculean task. However, let’s break that into pieces and make sense with conscious efforts. Communication takes the thoughts from your head and puts it into the ears of your listeners and that ultimately reaches their heads so it makes sense to them . That’s all. If in doubt, communicate. It also means – ask, share, tell, say, speak, shout, paint, draw, clarify, mirror, write, and of course listen.
9. Minion: minions help us get little tasks done. However, communication is like our own minion which helps in getting not only small tasks done but even make nations turn heads. Take Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi for example. I think just telling their names are enough as both of them are great orators in their own way. No I am not assuming. You can read more about them here and here, of course.
10. Notion: quite simple, isn’t it? Communication takes the notions or motive from your head and puts it across to people so you are known. So that nobody is in dark. Sounds simple, right? That’s life. It’s simple but people make it complicated. For notions to be heard, speak.
It’s not a coincidence that if you see all of the points given above – the key words – all form part of the communication – precisely the point that I would like to focus on. All of them – notion, action, comic, caution, mountain, minion, atomic, commit, account and communion are all words that are picked up from the 13 letter word – no marks for guessing it right – ‘communication’. Everything forms part of communication – yes, pun intended.
Over to you:
What is your opinion on communication? Have you ever had a day of revelation where you’d found out for yourself the importance of communication – could be at home, your workplace or just a good self-talk with yourself? Let’s communicate.