Restoring An Appreciation For The Familiar

How’s that for restoring an appreciation for the familiar? A brilliant video by IKEA ripping off Apple, of course, while effectively restoring appreciation for a catalogue. Of all things, a catalogue. Well thought out and executed. Some things don’t deteriorate in value. Their value is lost in perspective. it is how you help people see the worth of your product or mission that matters.

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Really Listening; Undermined Skill

I listened to University of Cape Town debate. I noticed and was reminded of something key in life, leading and communication general. There are versions, perceptions and even illusions of listening but it is not what most think. Really listening is a lost practice.

The practice of listening is what separates communicators and mere talkers. To effectively engage people you must understand what is meant beyond what is said. You have to listen well to respond well. Don’t just wait your turn to speak, really listen.

Leadership is impossible if you don’t understand the problems. This means listening, not just waiting for the other person to finish talking so that you talk.

Meaningful engagement means willingness to express others’ views by listening. Not just listening, but really listening.

Lost In Expression

This was a job ad I saw in a newspaper. Imagine that! An earth moving mechanic… I had no idea such existed. Where can I sign up to be that?

Communication happens when the message received by the receiver is as intended by the sender

There’s always room for misinterpretation. What varies is the degree of that probability. Thus every communicator’s responsibility is to reduce the probability of not communicating.

Receivers also do have responsibility of verifying the message as they understand it. Great leadership and teamwork depends on this. Lead & work well: communicate well.

 

Sixty Caution Potholes – Message Overload

I’m a student of communication in leadership (& yes, life too).

There is more than one message I get from this photo I took. The thing is, there is the speed limit sign and a mistake they made was add another message, causing “message overload”.

“Message overload guarantees a level of distortion in the messages being conveyed.

Great communication is core to great leadership. Make sure you never load other messages onto others.

Context

Be clear on the context and parameters a of each communique. It is always helpful to establish the boundaries of discussions and communication as it combats ambiguity. Ambiguity often births discord and division. The discord and division can be clear as well as subtle, hidden.

Load

Never piggy-back a message or communique on another. Respect the importance of each message and craft your message. Never communicate a lot of new ideas with a shotgun approach. Important messages deserve surgical treatment.

One Way

I’m sure the guy who put this sign thinks it’s clear; “Speed limit is sixty and be careful, there are potholes”. I laughed when I saw the sign because my initial interpretation was, “They have put sixty caution potholes?! What happened to other ‘traffic calming devices’?”

Never assume your message is as clear to others as it is to you, the sender [Click to Tweet]

This may be a rather obvious thing. Right? Wrong. Leaders and teams still stand to make this same mistake. Assumptions have destroyed teams, relationships and organisations. Rather err on the side of verifying that you understand messages and, likewise have been understood.

Hence the importance of feedback systems.

Related:
Why You DON’T Get The Feedback You Need | Part 1
Why You DON’T Get The Feedback You Need | Part 2

Recap

Remember: communication only takes place when message on the receivers end is received and understood as indented by the sender.

Never piggy back messages on each other. Always establish context and parameters for your message or communique. Have clear feedback systems to make sure that messages or communications are well understood by all parties involved and affected.

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