Besides being a writer, I was a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for more than 30 years. I officially retired in 2007 from Cleveland City Schools in Ohio. Yes, I have a lot of stories I could share, but I won’t. After that, I worked part-time as an SLP until last school year. Now, I’m not working at all due to a variety of reasons.
But the truth is I miss being an SLP.
I don’t mind telling you I was pretty good at my job! Not perfect but pretty good!. In many ways, it feels like I was just getting really good when it was time for me to quit. Anyway, I’ve decided to share some of my SLP knowledge from time to time on this blog. Since this blog is about this writer’s life and being an SLP was a big and important part of my life, it only makes sense.
So today’s communication topic is COMMUNICATION!
For communication to take place, there are three necessary elements. A speaker–A message–A listener. Communication happens when one person (speaker) relays a message to another person or group of people ( listener) and the listener receives the message as it was intended.
It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
Maybe not, let’s look at the very last part of my definition–receives the message as it was intended. All too often, this is where things get sticky. A speaker sends a message but without some feedback, they can’t know if the listener received the same message they sent!.
So, whose responsibility is it to make sure the listener received the same message the speaker sent?
Whether as a speaker or a listener, it only takes a moment to verify the message was understood correctly. If you are the speaker simply ask the listener to repeat your message. If you are the listener, ask the speaker if this was what they meant. It only takes a moment, and so many misunderstandings or communication breakdowns can be avoided.
I am so amazed at how much communication DOESN’T happen any more. It almost seems as if the more ways we have to communicate, the less we actually do it. So much communication stays at such a superficial level that it might as well not happen. Another issue is that it seems more and more people avoid communicating in difficult situations which hurts the relationship more than if they dared to communicate about the difficult issues.
Avoidance is NOT a good thing when it comes to communication and relationships. Now, obviously that doesn’t mean you have to share every personal thought (specially the negative ones), but it also doesn’t mean you should avoid ALL of the tough issues. When you do that, you’ll miss the opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with that person.
So,, what sort of things do you find difficult to communicate with others about?
UNTIL NEXT TIME….God Bless and Good Reading?