Monday, September 27, 2004

Failure to Communicate 

There are individuals that no matter how and how often you explain, talk, cajole, scream, they don't get what it is you are telling them. There is a failure to communicate. Why this happens, I don't know, but it does, and it is one of the most frustrating situations a communicator suffers. After all, we are practitioners who are expected to know how to communicate to audiences of all kinds. It is a comment on our abilities when we don't.

But it happens. I know I will not understand anything about quantum physics. I've tried for years, but I don't get it or the anti-logic of it. I don't understand chemistry. I dislike the topic and avoid it. But neither of those topics are often on my list of things to understand or write about. It is everyday things that frustrate one the most. You want to tell someone that anyone with COMMON SENSE would get this, but common sense isn't common. There are people who lack it completely.

Some people are so committed to their way of viewing things that any statement that contradicts their point of view is wrong. There is no discussion and no effort to see the other side. Failure to communicate to such hardheads is disappointing but not surprising. Communicators must learn to go into the other person's assumptions and to come out with one's own. Grant the other side its point, then show how the point fits a larger and more expansive view. But that doesn't always work.

There are failures to communicate no matter how good we are. We should not try to take them personally, but who is going to believe that?


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