We live in an amazing age when it comes to technology. If Sam Houston had Life Training and our technology, the help would have come in time for the Alamo. A few quick emails to patriots across Texas, and Santa Anna would never have had a chance. We can instantly communicate with millions of people around the world at the same time. That is really extraordinary.
But there is a big difference between “making contact” and actually communicating … isn’t there? The word “communicate” carries the idea that it really makes sense and is understood.
Exchanging words does not necessarily mean communicating. This is what I mean. Some people who had car accidents were asked to summarize exactly what happened on their insurance form. The following quotes were taken from those forms:
o I collided with a stopped truck coming from the opposite direction. The guy was all over the road; I had to swerve several times before hitting him.
o I had been driving my car for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.
o My car was legally parked when I backed into the other vehicle.
o The pedestrian had no idea which way to go, so I ran him over.
o The telephone pole was fast approaching. I was trying to get out of its way when it hit my forehead.
And here are some announcements that didn’t communicate well …
o A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Good food masterfully served by waitresses in mouthwatering ways.
o Special Dinner-Turkey $ 2.35; Chicken or Beef $ 2.25; Children $ 2.00.
o Now is your chance to get your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home too.
o We do not tear your clothes with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.
o We build bodies that last a lifetime. Offer expires December 31 or while supplies last.
o For sale at reduced prices-men’s shirts with small defects.
Let’s go over some basic “procedures” for good communication and life coaching.
Good communication begins when a good relationship is established. Rapport is a mutual feeling of being in communication. Have you heard the expression “we were on the same wavelength”? That was the report.
Below are some basic elements in the process of good communication and life coaching.
1. The speaker is like a radio transmitter. She is sending a message … it can be a verbal or non-verbal message.
2. The listener is like a radio receiver. They are getting the message.
3. The message is some kind of information. The goal of communication is to convey this message.
4. Then there are the distractions that can make communication difficult. Distractions can lead to misinterpretations. They can prevent parts of the message from getting through. Sometimes these distractions are our own preconceived notions or filters that cause us to misinterpret. They act like static. We don’t have a clear signal when there are distractions.
5. And finally, there should be an acknowledgment that the message was heard and a reply or feedback on the message to make sure it was received correctly.
Several years ago, Fred Rogers thought he was about to get his big break when a major network asked him to meet with him and discuss the possibility of syndicating their local children’s show. One of the network’s executives asked, “What kind of costume will you wear for the show?” Mr. Rogers told the man that he did not need a funny costume to communicate with the children.
People on the network disagreed, insisting that anyone hosting a children’s show must have a costume. So the meeting ended and the network decided to pass up the opportunity. Obviously, it was a big mistake. PBS picked up the show and children’s television was never the same again.
He knew it was not the disguise that it would communicate. Was the! Here’s another “Ebyism”. People buy your music, not your words. “Although we need to seek excellence … we need to learn to speak as clearly and eloquently as possible … we need to know that communication is much deeper. Life Training is all around us, just notice and be aware.
I have read that 75% of people who buy an expensive item … buy it because they like and trust the seller. So people want you to communicate with them sincerely on a verbal level … and to communicate with them sincerely on a non-verbal level. They want to know what your heart has to say. When we speak from our heart … it will cut the “static”. It will amplify our signal. And it will leave no room for misinterpretation. That is life training and effective communication!