Communication is not a one-way street


[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.0.47″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.0.47″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]

Imagine walking into your office’s luncheon for your lunch break and witnessing a heated conversation between two colleagues, who we’ll call Samantha and James about the pay gap between women and men in the office.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Samantha sees a problem with the gap and feels it should be discussed more for it to be addressed. She argues that every woman deserves to be paid what they are worth. It is undeniable that there is a gap in place, but James fails to realize the inequality in the system. H He is very opinionated in asserting that perhaps if those with lower incomes were more assertive, that it may lead to them making the same, or even more than, their colleagues.

Although Samantha is also very outspoken like James, she is also attentive and takes lengthy pauses before proceeding to respond to her colleague. The key word in James’ argument was “may,” a small word that she informed him is very crucial in understanding the dynamic of the work place, for she sees no reason why she has to gamble her way to be valued as equally as the men in the company.

Unfortunately, her attempts to try and make him understand her point of view were wasted as she noticed that during the conversation he made no attempt to properly listen and would always interject to voice what he thought was right.

In conversations such as this one, it is pointless to continue to engage, and the best action is to politely end it and retreat. From this lunch break discussion what should be noted is not the topic that was at hand but rather the communication between the two people.

I’ve come to an understanding that there are talkers, and then there are listeners.

Those who fall in the category of talkers always want to voice their opinions and pay their respect by “hearing” others. One of the keys to communication and a good argument is listening, so the talkers, in their own ignorant attempt, “hear” what others have to say without really listening.

They just want to fast forward when the other person speaks so they can get back to holding the microphone. Talkers are so consumed with their own voice and ideas that their voice becomes the only one in the room that matters. They fail to grasp the content and the only knowledge they’re left with is their own. Information isn’t always exchanged, sometimes it is only sustained, with outside information only being listened to “symbolically”.

Then there are the listeners, who often appear quieter and less boisterous than the talkers. They’re attentive and methodical in their approach to communicating, striving to understand first and foremost before moving on to the next phase, which is sharing their own ideas.

Sometimes it may appear as though the listeners don’t have a voice of their own. If they’re not careful they can be overpowered by the self-engaged talkers. A big fear is that they might make a habit of resisting to share their thoughts. However, they should not be underestimated as they are very knowledgeable. They integrate information and knowledge as a weapon and transcend it into something powerful: wisdom.

In this day and age, and current social, political and economic climate,  the range of opposing ideals seems to be bigger than ever before. It is essential that one learns the way to effectively communicate with others in order to gain exposure and enlightenment, because of this. Today we need more listeners and less talkers.