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Friday, March 9, 2012

Step Out – Communicate

One of the most confounding things in human affairs is not to communicate while problems are still on a low order of magnitude.  Not infrequently we sublimate what should be communicated which results in a compounding of complexity to the point of crisis at which point pent up frustration, anger, and resentment explode.  What constitutes the friction of communication—why don’t we communicate when we should?  Several factors contribute.  One frequent excuse is that we want it to appear that everything in our purview is “quite alright, thank you.”  Somehow we equate imperfections in our situation with imperfections in us.  Thus, one key to better communication is a relinquishing of the ambition to appear perfect—realizing the better course is embrace the messiness of reality.  Another factor is cynicism regarding others.  We assume that everyone is selfish and thinks only of their own comfort. The key to better communication here is to understand that people enhance their self-concepts though helping others when it is perceived that others are doing their best—are not lazy and just playing games to avoid effort.  Being part of a solutions team is a rewarding social act of highest magnitude.  People want to help earnest players.  Perhaps most on people’s minds when they don’t communicate is that they just don’t want to be a bother.”  Better just to keep quiet rather than to speak out about issues and cause trouble.  This can be significantly counterproductive as often by not speaking out we are compounding the effort that eventually inevitably must be expended.  The driver that notices low oil pressure but sublimates this problem rather than acknowledging it and thus causing some distress in his passengers will surely compound their distress by keeping quiet and driving on until the engine blows up.  So as is often the case, none of the choices available to the driver are ideal.  But the better choice is to acknowledge facts and communicate.  The most rewarding thing about communicating is its cleansing nature.  We feel dark clouds dispel when communication lights up the situation.  The act of communication has inherent redeeming qualities and should be engaged in proactively.  Communication not only solves problems without, but helps keep them from festering within.  Communicate early and often—that should be our motto.

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