Have you ever wondered about the people in the booth next to you at the café who are all talking but not to each other? Have you panicked when you forgot your cell phone at home? Have you noticed that your teenager is glued to his smart phone, even when you are trying to have a conversation with him?
We are supposed to be better connected to each other now than at any time in history. However, I believe we are starving for better communication. As some 93% of the message is through non-verbal means, nothing beats face-to-face communication. And, as illustrated by the constant drum of unresolved conflict showcased in the media, there is more need now than ever for the “soft skills.”
My husband, Don Doerres, and I have a program we call “Soft Skills for a Hard World.” We emphasize how to better communicate and how to manage conflict. Yes, communication is more than hitting “send” on the email or text message or Instagram. Did you know that the word “dialogue” means more than just two (dia) faces (logos)? Dialogue in the ancient Greek is meaning moving through when people speak with each other – not at each other. Many times when we speak with another, we engage in serial monologue or “reloading.” In other words, we do not listen to what the other is saying, we merely rehearse what we are going to say.
Take a full stop moment – right now – and really listen to your boss, your co-worker, your teenager, your spouse. What is s/he saying? Can you repeat it back? Did you understand it? Did you stop rehearsing your lines and really hear what s/he said?
We live in a hard world. Time to learn some soft skills.
Until next time….