Sunday, May 25, 2014


If communications were easy, we’d all be masters of it.  However, that’s not the case, for we sometimes find ourselves struggling to be understood.  Seeing leaders, colleagues, and friends put on the spot while they’re trying to find firm ground in their words, and failing to convince us is all too common these days, isn’t it?    Since it’s often the small points we make or actions we take that become the sparks for others’ understanding, focusing inward to connect with and communicate our wisdom from experience in a simple, effective way is without peer.

After all, we commonly hear too many unnecessary words coming from the mouths and minds of exceptional people.  We may wonder if they’ve lost themselves.  Sometimes it’s as if they’re infatuated with their voices as we find ourselves in boredom.  Other times when they go on and on trying to make their point, we know they have something important that we need to comprehend and use, but the more verbose they are, the more confused we become.  Finally, we need an interpreter to get what we need from them.

Common sense tells us that whether it’s a conversation or something more formal with people we know well or not, there are ways to make salient statements simply.  Rapport is important so we develop it by listening to find out how they process information.  When it’s time to say something, we connect with our inner being and ask what it is they most need to hear.  Satisfied that we know, we communicate this information in a way they understand in no more than a sentence or two or a simple action.  Now that we’ve opened the door, we continue listening and let their light of newfound exposure lead them.  Answering their inquiries, we keep our responses minimal and let the listeners work their way to complete understanding.

By keeping what we say simple and significant, we do those who listen a great service. When Carla Brennan interviewed ex-renegade biker James Veliskakis, a successful leader of a program called Tools for the Cycle of Life, he said:   “The little things you say or do can become the triggers for others’ awakening. You need to take the time to talk from your depth. What a shame it would be not to take advantage of this life.” 

These words of wisdom reminded me of the best teacher I ever had.  Spike Davis was a natural.  He could say just a few words and capture his students’ understanding without sounding teachy.  It’s so hard to find such people.  What they do with minimal words may sound simple but it’s not.  They must be good at listening and waiting for the inner silence to bring them the wisdom they need to communicate. 

Moreover, those who point the way can come in the form of people new to their careers.  As a former training manager in the U.S. Air Force, I recall the joy I felt in hearing the questions from new technical school graduates.  They helped me to improve the on-the-job training programs for hundreds of computer hardware and software specialists.

Taking the time to go inside and listen to our inner self does permit us to help others in significant ways.  Keeping what we say and do simple, we communicate effectively and efficiently with the wide variety of people with whom we work and associate.  It sharpens our capabilities and satisfaction with our lives, for we truly feel more useful to others.  Such a case for creating more space for ourselves and others with a noticeable degree of equanimity is well worth the investment of the effort it takes.

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