As I stated in my last blog, there is much to say and even more to learn when it comes to communications. My comments today will continue to focus on the quiet side of communications. Why, because there is more going on quietly in the communications world than ever before. When was the last time you talked or actually spoke with a good friend by telephone or face-to-face. In today’s world it is simply not the “in-thing” to do. There’s Facebook, Twitter, blogging and texting. I’m certainly still growing when it comes to technology, but, there is one thing I have learned for sure . Times are changing and will continue to do so. At the end of the day, we still need to know how to communicate using a process that conveys respect, understanding of intent, purpose and sincerity.
Thoughts to Ponder
We are still ultimately responsible for what we say, no matter how we say it.
The less said, from the quiet side of communications, may not always be for the better.
Quick and instantaneous is always efficient when we use the right tools with the right skills and sense of purpose.
The golden rule for communications is “Communicate in the way that is appropriate and best connects with the receiver of our message”. Doing it “my way” may not always be the best way.
A Real Life Situation
It is interesting how situations occur when our minds are focused on specific topics. I took a break to get coffee from my favorite place during the early afternoon. The server was a very charming. and knowledgeable young woman. In my opinion, she represented the kind of individual who would be an ideal associate for this well known, respected business.
When I approached her she appeared to be having a telephone conversation. I quietly waited until she acknowledged me. She cordially said, “May I help you?” My response was “are you having a telephone conversation?” Her response “Yes, but I can do both”. I stated ‘I would like this type of coffee and a special kind of loaf.” (I don’t want to name the products; my secret company would be mentioned).
She continued to talk on the phone and then looked up and said, “You want this kind of coffee and a peanut butter cookie. I smiled and said “no”. She quickly apologized and we both acknowledged the situation. I went on to say, “You know I am working on a blog right now about communications, I think I will note this incident in a positive way”. She smiled and said “I was multi-tasking and I realize that I just can’t do everything at once. She hung up the phone and focused her attention on the moment at hand.
My reference point is this, the quiet side of our conversation indicated to me that she recognized the need to provide customer service. In addition, she wanted to please the other person on the phone, or, stay focused on whatever the issue was that was captivating her attention. She was pleasant, kind and embarrassed in that quick instant. There was something magical in the chemistry of communication that took place between the two of us. I had a learning moment and so did she. My learning moment was that there are always opportunities to mentor others. I also reminded myself that styles are different and we should not form opinions in a split second. She articulated that she had learned that multi-tasking may not always be appropriate. Somehow as I took my seat, I felt that she had learned even more. As she was cleaning the tables, she stopped by and asked about my blog and the nature of my business. We talked a bit more and then she went back to work. I really liked this young woman. She was just a joy. I observed her serving another customer, explaining the different drinks and doing it oh so professionally. If she happens to read this blog, I hope to hear from her and get her personal reaction to my comments.
The quiet side of communication is like the wind…we may not be able to see it or touch it in advance, but its vibration and the impact of its presence is always with us. It would behoove employers to recognize that there are times where advertising isn’t the answer. Rather, it is focusing on all aspects of the communications process within our respective businesses. It is also listening for the quiet unstated messages that are conveyed everyday as our associates and affiliates respond to the needs and desires of our customers. What is your benchmark? How are you measuring the quiet side of your performance?