Sarah’s Snippets – 3/8/2016
Communication is a word that is used frequently. Relationships of all kinds depend upon effective communication. In fact, the topic has been discussed in past issues of Snippets. However, several times in the past week I was reminded again of the importance of communication.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” (George Bernard Shaw) Unless the words used are heard and understood with the same intent with which they were spoken, communication hasn’t happened. Take the simple phrase “pick-up”. Over the weekend these two simple words caused quite a bit of distress. The phrase was used by Grandpa asking our 10 year old granddaughter to pick-up her craft area. At the time she was mid-way through a project and objected to putting it all away. However, that wasn’t the request made. Grandpa wanted the floor cleared of numerous scraps of paper, foam, and cardboard so others could walk in the family room where the project was taking place. Since there is a crafting desk located in the room, it seemed like a reasonable request. After a minor uproar, the situation was saved by sharing the intended meaning with different words. New words changed the exchange into effective communication.
Recently a long-time volunteer and SALT supporter shared that she is having trouble with SALT’s new mission and would like to discuss it. If we have tried many ways to convey the next phase of recovery and our transition into this work but she is still confused, then effective communication has not occurred. Our message has been lost in the in-between.
Also last week, a guest workshop leader emphasized the importance of focused messaging when writing and talking about SALT’s vision for the organization and the work to achieve that vision. It is the goal of staff to focus on our communications and become more proficient at our word choices to ensure that the correct messages are being shared. Sydney J. Harris said: “The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
SALT’s communication goal is to “get through” effectively.