Real communication is vital. Doctors can talk in terms that leave us confused and terrified. So why don’t we ask the needed follow-up questions starting with “What does this mean?” Many doctors do not realize they are not communicating their knowledge to meet patient needs. The doctors fail to see or to make the differentiation between condescending and explaining.
But all types of communication require communication that we are often oblivious to. We are all guilty of thinking we know more than we do, of not listening, of not picking up on body language and other signals we evidence when we are supposedly communicating. Communication is a form of selling that goes on all the time between humans. From business to deciding on a family vacation when one person’s idea of a perfect vacation is backpacking and the other person’s idea of a perfect holiday is cascading through a wet theme park.
Understanding and communicating is a mutual experience. Truly listening strengthens empathy – an essential tool for communication. It can help us make those important connections that lead to understanding. Connecting with others, finding common ground and actively listening, results in increased empathy. Terrific life advice for everyone.
And sorely needed in our current social climate.
What do you think?
(Source: Star-Ledger, June 2017, Jacqueline Cutler on Alan Alda)