Communication Shelf ©

Considered Communication Works Best

images-1Be aware of what you’re trying to say, whether you’re succeeding in saying it and are being heard clearly. Considered communication works best, it’s the key to being heeded. Ken Potts on The Daily Herald in suburban Chicago makes that point well, as though he’s had lots of practice in successful, or not, communication.

“We’ve all had the experience of realizing that we’ve lost the interest, attention and even patience of the person we’re talking to (if we haven’t had that experience, then we’re the ones who aren’t paying attention,)” Potts writes from an evident fund of well-considered experience.


Quit ‘Chewing On It,’ Please
In our far distant past, reports Inquisitor, humans had to chew their food for endlessly to digest it. That didn’t leave much time for talking, so we didn’t learn to communicate very well until we learned to cook over a fire and to mash and slice our meals first. That left time for talking, so we became conversationalists. “Chimpanzees still spend upwards of five-to-eleven hours per day simply chewing their food.

“The casual efficacy of the logic stating that less time spent chewing equates to more time spent developing higher-reasoning capabilities – such as roasting meat, which ultimately led to speech – is an exciting find for the scientific community.” Not to mention communication bloggers.

(Photo by Herbert/Getty Images)


For the Full Impact, Be Present
imagesCommunication doesn’t require, but is greatly amplified by, presence. Texting, emailing and exhorting on social media don’t come close to the authenticity of communicating in person, to other persons. Scott Peterson notes that communication “is only seven percent verbal, that body language accounts for 55 percent of the message and that tone of voice represents the remaining 38 percent.

“If this is true,” Scott adds, “we may still be the only species with opposable thumbs, but if all we use them for is texting, we are missing 93 percent of the other person’s message.”


Radiologists Learning How to ‘Glow’
There’s discussion over whether radiologists should provide the results of CT scans and mammograms directly to their patients, rather than pass them along to the primary physicians. But, a Stanford Medicine posts notes, radiological residents are attending training programs, like “Coming Out of the Dark” at the UMass Memorial Medical Center, to help them relate better to patients who may be the recipients of bad news.

Photo by Offutt Air Force Base


Communication for First Responders

imagesWho needs assured communication capacity any more urgently than first responders on the scene of a fire or other emergency? Maybe doctors, if they’re not considered first responders. But it’s bizarre, it seems, to find firemen using their own personal cellphones because they don’t have any better means of communicating in a crisis.

So it’s heartening that we’ve come upon a Fierce Wireless Tech post that FirstNet, a broadband network for first responders nationally, is proceeding to be installed nationally. FirstNet won’t have to compete with public access to commercial broadband networks.

We applaud Firstnet’s progress in bringing a reliable communication channel to firemen and other first responders, people who need reliable communication capacity as much or more than the rest of us.


Talking With Teenagers

imgresThere’s a communication challenge in seeking to have open, extended conversations/communication with teenagers. There’s a gap between age, experience and confidence that parents often find hard to bridge. A post on notes that “Teenagers will try to get away with answering with one-word responses like ‘OK, fine, all right,’ but don’t accept those responses, experts say. Always encourage teens to give more to the dialogue exchange, and parents can do this by asking specific questions such as ‘What did you learn in chemistry class?’ or ‘What did you get on your quiz in history class?,’ feeling free to ask follow-up questions.”

Prompting continuing communication with children as they grow is part of the art of parenting. “The most important thing,” adds the News-Press post, “is to make sure the child in question is able to speak to someone so that what’s bothering him or her can be addressed.” Good luck, and persevere, parents.

Illustration from Developing Minds blog