The first week in November is World Communication Week. If you look online, this seems to be mainly directed at businesses, with suggestions about how to better communicate to customers. But I would like to think smaller, that is, how we communicate with each other.
The 2016 presidential election in the United States has been a textbook case of how not to communicate, or rather how to twist the truth so it says what you want it to say. Even how to lie to potential voters with impunity. Sometimes it seems that people can no longer tell the difference between truth and lies, but can only hear the propaganda from their own side of the political spectrum. In fact, if we were looking for a word opposite of communication it might be propaganda, which keeps people from discerning the truth.
There may not be any way to communicate effectively at this point, with emotions running so high, but we must learn how to do so after the election, whoever wins, so that we can talk to and more importantly, listen to, each other. If we are going to survive as a country, we must facilitate communication. The rich must learn to hear the poor, whites must learn to hear non-whites, men must learn to hear women, old and young, Democrats and Republications (and Independents) must come to hear each other. If we cannot learn to understand where each other is coming from, we will break apart into even more factions than we already have. So I urge all the readers of this blog to listen before speaking and to practice empathy with others, especially this emotion-fraught week.
Quotes about communication.
Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence.–Deborah Tannen
The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say, “Me, too!” versus “So what?”–Jim Rohn
I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention And especially if it’s given from the heart. When people are talking, there’s no need to do anything but receive them. Just take them in. Listen to what they’re saying. Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. Most of us don’t value ourselves or our love enough to know this.–Rachel Naomi Remen
It seemed rather incongruous that in a society of supersophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners.–Erma Bombeck
The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.-–Peter Drucker
My favorite single line from the Qur’an is from Surah 49:13, which says that God made us different nations and tribes that we may come to know one another, in the sense that diversity is holy and it was created by God. What we humans are meant to do with that diversity is engage in positive interaction with each other and come to know one another – because knowledge is holy and pluralism or positive engagement is holy.–Eboo Patel
Our most common way of talking is telling: asserting the truth about the way things are and must be, not allowing that there might be other truths and possibilities. And our most common way of listening is not listening: listening only to our own talking, not to others.–Adam Kahane
We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together we have to talk.–Eleanor Roosevelt
When we clearly understand that there is no superior sex or superior race, we will have opened the door of communication and laid the foundation for building winning relationships with all people in this global world of ours.–Zig Ziglar
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