That's the title of a guest column in the February issue of one of my newsletters. It immediately drew a question from a recipient: how can I comment on it? Well, not in the newsletter, but here is a repeat -- with ample opportunity to comment:
What's complicated about communication? You say what you want to say. The other responds. What’s complicated about that? Take the movie, It's Complicated, for example. For those of us who had the pleasure of seeing it, we may have noticed that Alec Baldwin's character was a bit narcissistic. Over and over he said to Meryl Streep, "I'm so happy." He mouthed the words to her across the room. He whispered them in her ear. Never once did he ask, "Are you happy?" Everything was all about him.
Now, you might say that's typical of movie versions of the male species. Perhaps. But, I'd argue that many of us place ourselves at the forefront of the conversation and forget the other person. When we meet someone at a networking event, what do we often do? Do we listen when the other people tell us their passions? Or, do we immediately jump in with our solutions to their problems? It's been my experience that we jump in with solutions even when we do not know what the problem is.
If Alec Baldwin had paid more attention to Streep's needs, desires and wants, perhaps he would have gotten the girl in the end.
The next time you find yourself in front of another person, challenge yourself to hear what that person is all about. Challenge yourself to make communication less about you and more about them. That way, it won't be so complicated!
Author: Joan C. Curtis, Ed.D.
Total Communications Coach
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