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Business Communication EME Ling- English Management My own words PBM Words & Language

Communication is a process by which all parties make themselves co-responsible for the creation of a shared understanding

We are a few days into the invasion of a sovereign country by another sovereign country… and the senseless deaths that ensue. I’m not one for pronouncements but if we can learn anything from history it is this: if we don’t discuss our differences, if we don’t talk, then the only alternative is violence. This is as true internationally as it is domestically. Technology has only exacerbated this fundamental human tendency. The only way to prevent violence is to learn to express one’s differences and learn to hear and understand the differences of others.

“Communication” is not about how eloquent or smart or well-spoken one is. It’s not about the clever tricks of rhetoric or the slick slide deck. My work as a consultant and a coach is to invite people (I work mostly with managers) to approach communication as

a process by which all parties make themselves co-responsible for the creation of a shared understanding.

I am responsible not only to express my ideas clearly (which requires that they be clear ideas to start with). I am also responsible to ensure that the other party has understood what I was trying to say. Conversely, it is also my responsibility to ensure that I have understood what the other party is trying to say.

This is impossible without dialogue: not only my telling you something and you telling me something, but also my asking you if I got you right and your asking me if you got me right… with the purpose of creating a shared understanding. The outcome is that we have both understood the meaning that each other is trying to convey.

People or parties talking without the express work of creating a shared understanding are at best engaging in turn-taking monologues. They are talking at each other. They are not necessarily talking to each other. There is no dialogue.

And while listening is important and one can learn to do that better, nothing replaces the premise of effective listening: a genuine interest in what the other person has to say.

If you know it all, if you’re the most experienced person in the room, if you’re the most senior person in the room, the smartest person in the room, if you think you have forgotten more about this topic than the other person will ever know then you might be far removed from having a genuine interest in what the other person has to say.

photo by Tina Hartung on Unsplash

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EME Ling- English Manage yourself PBM

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity

The quote in the title is from Simone Weil.

When I pay attention I am giving my time. It prompts the question: Who, or what, receives my attention?

Therein lies my treasure.

 

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EME Ling- English Management and Organizations PBM

A new issue of the People & Management newsletter is available

It’s all about listening.

Read it here. And let me know what you think.

Dealing with criticism

  1. Listen to what a critic is saying.
  2. Don’t be defensive.
  3. Don’t fire back by criticizing your critic.
  4. Delay your reaction.
  5. Explain honestly the reason for your actions.
  6. Admit your mistakes.
  7. Explain what you’ve learned.
  8. Enjoy the fun of failure.

via The Happiness Project

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Management

Reacting to decline, dissatisfaction and dilemmas

I discuss in class the five ways in which people will react when faced with an ethical dilemma:

  • Exit
  • Voice
  • “Loyalty”
  • Neglect/Sabotage
  • Whistle-blowing.

The first three I paraphrase from a book by Albert Hirschman. The other two I picked up from research sources, as well as, sadly, my own experience.

The challenge for managers is to identify the behaviors and events that are symptomatic of these reactions, and to establish that said reactions are their cause.

The subtle art of conversation

It works best when you share the spotlight, taking turns talking and listening: Shut up and listen.
Seriously. Shut up. That means more than just quieting your mouth. It means more than simply waiting your turn to talk. It means quieting the noise in your head so that you can really hear what the other person is saying.

Now prove you were listening.
That’s right. Show me you care. Ask genuine questions that send the conversation in new directions. Talk to me about what I’m talking to you about. Otherwise, we’re just making noise.

Don’t worry, you’ll get your turn.
It’s not likely that anyone will listen to you, if you don’t listen to them first. Because when you really pay attention, and you show it, you build trust. You build rapport. You get a reputation for being smart, and thoughtful even, no matter that you’ve said very little. And suddenly people will want to hear what you have to say. (tiny gigantic)