Communication and Power Lines

Which connections to make and which to break?...

Lately I've been reminded of the power of communication and doing it well and the price of not paying attention to presentation of what you're intending to convey. I'm well trained by upbringing, personal experience and professional education and for many years earned a living as an instructor, writer and speaker in various situations. The power of words both spoken and written, how they're connected into phrases and sentences along with expression is one thing I'm highly developed at doing. As everyone knows about anything they do well it can be easy to take the skills for granted and also let them fall into disuse. It demands being constantly aware to not fall into bad habits and become lax and lazy with a key competency I am well equipped with.

We live in a world that is connected as it never has before and whether we are exchanging ideas, thoughts, instructions, feelings, with the tools of the digital age or in person, how we conduct the interchange is more important than ever. It is no longer acceptable to be an excellent programmer, engineer, shop mechanic, carpenter without also being able to communicate well. The ability to transmit information succinctly and articulately with simplicity and tact is no longer in the province of customer service, sales people, leaders or any of the traditional roles that required it. Everyone now needs the ability to interact with other people on multiple levels; it is no longer a choice in this new economic and technological world. To be able to engage others in a meaningful way is a requirement to stay employed in any occupation, run a business of any kind, be an entrepreneur, sole proprietor or free agent.

For many years I was able to communicate well in the sphere of instructing classes, writing non-fiction policies and procedures, white papers or historical articles and dealing with difficult customers over the phone, through email and instant messaging. My face to face interactions were largely in group settings or training people one on one who were sent to me as a last chance to learn something they needed to know to stay employed. I am now challenged to learn how to deal for the first time with clients in a face to face, very often public setting and am quickly discovering it requires a nuance of the skills I possess. A nuance yet a very different one that requires rethinking how I approach a situation, respond to one to resolve differences and the subtle power of how it is conducted. The task is not daunting but nonetheless requires paying attention and working at refining the existing knowledge I had become too casual with.