If Communication is such a good thing, then why are we so bad at it?

Communication is found everywhere you look

Everyone professes things like “communication is key to happy and lasting relationships,” or “the key to client satisfaction is communication.”  Yet with all of this focus on a singular element, it seems we are not that good at communicating.  We’ve all been in situations where we could have, or should have, said something but held back.  Additionally, we have all had relationships that have grown out of recognizing incorrect assumptions we have had about an individual.  But why aren’t things better?

​Experience is a funny thing

I can easily recall many situations in which communication has improved a situation.  When delivering bad news I know that delaying the delivery never results in anything positive.  Additionally, when delivering something good, it further enhances the positive experience by sharing it with others.  I would struggle to come up with more than one experience where communication actually hurt a relationship or situation.  That one situation was quite an experience but definitely an anomaly.  Bearing this in mind, I still find myself wondering why I hesitated to share a piece of information with peers.

​Communication is just information sharing, right?

​Though it is a simplified statement, it is not incorrect.  Communicating with peers, clients, or complete strangers does more than provide us with a brief moment of entertainment.  When we share ideas and information we are creating an environment for further growth.  This may or may not happen.  However, you will most assuredly miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.  I find myself wondering if I could be sharing more, but I know there are some that worry they are sharing too much.

​How do you decide whether or not to share something?

​This is a tough one, and I am sure many others may be more qualified than I am in answering this.  However, one thing I have been considering for myself as of late has been an idea that has been attributed to many included Buddha, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rumi, etc.  This idea is: before I speak my idea must pass through three gates before being shared.  First, is it true?  Next, is this communication necessary? Last, is this message kind?

​That sounds a little too hokey.

​Sure it does, and I am new to this, so trying it really hurts no one.  However, a guide such as this maybe a decent starting point.  After all, there are times when the unkind is necessary to share so long as it comes from a good intention, right?  What do you think of this?

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