Communication skills

Communication is perceived to be a two way street, but is often a battlefield. How often do you feel you are not being heard? Ever tried saying it louder and repeatedly, with no effect? It’s a bit like the stereotype of the English speaker talking to someone with no knowledge of the English language; “if I enunciate clearly and slowly, surely they will understand?”

Sometimes it’s because we hear what we want to hear, sometimes we just zone out and sometimes we haven’t got a clue what the other person is talking about.

There is a theory that the student doesn’t fail the course, it’s the teacher that fails. If someone doesn’t understand what you are hoping to impart, whose fault is it?

Congruency and values in business

A factor that is often overlooked in working life is whether we share, or at least understand, values with our colleagues and clients.

What do I mean by values?    We all have around five core values that structure the way we think and act.  These values have a hierarchy, so that while you may have very similar values to another person, the value that is most important to you may not be so important to them.

Common examples of values are freedom, love and the less easy to define description of ‘being’.    ‘Being’ means different things to different people, although most describe it as being accepted as themselves and being able to show their true nature.     The word congruency means ‘in agreement’ and we are good at recognising when something feels right and we feel at peace and congruent with a situation.

So how does this fit into working life?   Most of us at some point have worked on something that is not right for us.     The excuses for continuing in an inappropriate situation may be multiple; we are very good at kidding ourselves that something is right when it fits another purpose.    The excuse may be that it is very lucrative, I would never find another job/client, it fits in with the rest of my life, I don’t want to lose out on a generous pension.

What should I do about all of this?     The answer is that it is up to you to work out what is most important to you and act on it as you choose.

Deborah Burdett