A Lesson in Communication

18 Oct
I'm not exactly sure what this is but I think this might be some 1950's futurist's attempt at Photo Shop....

I’m not exactly sure what this is but I think this might be some 1950’s futurist’s attempt at Photo Shop….

So What?

One of my favorite parts of life is the chance encounters that I have with complete strangers.  We may have a brief conversation or simply walk past each other in the same spot a few times a week, but in some strange way they will influence me.

About a week ago I met a guy in the Math Lab.  He is about 6’2″, married, a little nerdy, and has a very intense personality. We realized that we were in the same two math classes so we decided to study together.  Although he is probably a little smarter than me, I had spent more time studying the material so I helped him more than he helped me.  He also did some of the calculatoins for me because my calculator broke.

vintage secretaryAt one point in our study session he understood a concept better than I did and he attempted to explain it to me.  He is an awful teacher!  He probably spent 30 minutes explaining the problem to me and by the end, I still didn’t know what he was talking about.  Eventually, I started to pretend like I did so that he would shut-up and let me study something else.

As he was trying to explain the problem to me I found his teaching method to be very interesting.  I told him at the beginning that I was a visual learner.  He said that he wasn’t because he thought it was a waste of time.  Although he valiantly tried to explain the problem he wasn’t successful AT ALL because he wasn’t teaching for my style of learning.

He was simply talking at me.

"When the secretary uses the telephone, her voice and  and manner should be pleasant, courteous, and sincere so that the calling party will receive a favorable impression of the secretary and the firm she represents."

“When the secretary uses the telephone, her voice and and manner should be pleasant, courteous, and sincere so that the calling party will receive a favorable impression of the secretary and the firm she represents.”

If he would have taken a minute or two to think of a way to visually explain his thought process I would have understood the problem, and we would have been done.  But he didn’t.  He continued on and on AND ON using the same method to explain the problem.

How often does this same type of thing happen in our lives? 

How often do you try to tell someone something and they just don’t get it? Or you try to do something nice for someone and they don’t even notice?

The key? Understand how to communicate with the person your speaking to.

You may be able to effectively communicate with everyone you know but that isn’t enough because eventually you’ll find someone who has a communication style that’s different from yours.

Now What?

Know your audience.  Understand who you are trying to communicate with and make their comprehension a priority during the conversation.  When you focus more on the other person rather than yourself, they feel appreciated and they’ll be more excited to talk to you in the future.

All in all, I’m glad that I met my math friend.  I gained two things from this chance encounter: (1) I was reminded of the importance of good communication (2) I got his wife’s old calculator (:

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