Trish and I have just finished a One Day Public Speaking Workshop where the focus was on creating clear communication; and when I came home and found this in my In-Box.

It’s from the blog of Simon Roskrow, the Owner & Managing Director of Training Reality Ltd and is about the launch of what is called ‘Google Wave’ – I don’t think he is a fan!

“The part of the presentation that triggered these thoughts was a little bit – that caused a ripple of spontaneous applause – about what happens when two (or more) people are involved in Google Wave “conversation” at the same time. Up to this point, I had been interpreting what I was seeing as a slightly enhanced version of Skype, but the part of the demonstration that got the applause was that, with Wave, you don’t need to wait whilst someone is typing an instant message – you see them, live, actually typing it, character by character. The exciting sales line associated with this was that, instead of waiting for a reply “you can start formulating your own reply before [X] is done typing hers” [My emphasis]

Oh goody! Another way to mess up the communication process!

Statistic still show that up to 60% of all communication used in the business process is ineffective – that it fails to achieve its desired purpose. People bring into business the communication that they are most familiar with – which is the problem. Effective business communication is not the same as conversation, or the social networking’s 140 characters sound bites; it needs careful consideration and – wait for it! It needs Listening Skills.

Listening – can you remember what that looked like? It meant that people actually waited until you had finished what you wanted to say and then gave it considered thought before responding. How can I respond successfully if I don’t know what you are going to say?

Or does it even matter any more? This seems to me to be all about getting what I want to say across without any interest in your thoughts or opinions. Of course, it also means that my thoughts and opinions will be given equally scant regard. That’s really encouraging.

At the One Day Workshop – we teach our clients that for communication to actually take place there needs to be a two way process – a speaker and a listener. Two monologues do not make a dialogue. But Google seem to have missed that bit of reality.

We build more that just good business on correct communication, we also build relationships. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a relationship where I am constantly being ‘talked over’; where people jump in to pre-empt what I think with their own ideas and where what I say can be disregarded.

I do not feel warm and welcoming to those that show me lack of respect, and talking over my conversation is just that. And it leads to real misunderstanding because unless you wait to hear exactly what I think or feel you have no idea where I was heading with my thought process.

One of the gravest mistakes made in business communication is pre-empting another person’s thoughts or ideas. We do this constantly at meetings, or even in one-on-one conversation. We believe that we know what they are going to say and we respond to what we thought we should have heard rather than what was actually said.

That is a recipe for disaster. But I don’t suppose that will figure in the general celebration of instant messaging over thoughtful communication.

Michele @ Trischel

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