By: Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.
Every human being comes into the world with communication mechanisms. Even newborn babies know how to share pressing needs to a parent or guardian, capable to supply their request.
What many adults fail to understand, even after several years on planet earth, is that communication among fellow humans is a task that demands continued improvement. The mere utterance of words or expression of feelings does not necessarily indicate that a communication has been effectively achieved.
Those who are eager to be understood by others, so as to anticipate a response from them, are responsible to convey their message with clarity, free from interfering noises, and at a moment which offers the best chances of comprehension, and the provision of some form of response.
Not only serious issues, but also less significant matters, have the greatest probability of being heard, understood, and acted upon when timing, surroundings, and emotional wellbeing of those engaged in the conversation are key factors taken into consideration. A dialogue does it best!
It is the one communicating to another who has the primary responsibility of ascertaining that the message has been heard and understood. While using the vacuum cleaner, when the television or radio are blasting, or when children are fighting or crying nearby, is not the right time to convey messages.
The moment a spouse enters the house after a long day at work is never the best time to address any issue of importance to be grasped by the hearer, especially when that issue entails potentially bad news.
I once heard of a wise wife who studiously avoided greeting her husband after his long day at work with any bad news, regardless of the seriousness of the issue. So, one day, as soon as her husband arrived home, with a welcoming smile she went to kiss him and proclaimed: “Hi, honey; you should be happy to know that three of our four children are not in the hospital at the moment!” With that creative approach, and the blow softened, she was able gradually to explain that one of the kids had broken a leg during a ball game, but all else was okay!
You can avoid being misunderstood, not being heard, or sharing your thoughts at an inappropriate moment but seeking the right time, the best setting, and the most clear and adequate words which effectively and exhaustively express what you desire to convey.
It is not late at night, much less when you are tired in bed ready to sleep, or at moments when other pressing sirens beckon another’s attention that you should spill your concerns or seek an answer to significant matters. Communication is not hard, but it needs to be done effectively!