Communication is an amazing subject. There are those who study it and plot patterns and create theories and there are those who have made a business out of imparting the secrets to powerful communication. I have attended many such courses of study starting from my school days. It is popularly believed that there are few human beings who are born with the gift of powerful and impactful communication. I wanted to share my experiences with you.
It is my experience that words (vocabulary) are often the least relevant contributor to the effectiveness of the communication. I have always found that regardless of the language/ words, most human beings form the same opinion about an individual and the interaction, based on the primitive animal sense within us. The reality is that we have been animals for millions of years and have been communicating with each other, extremely effectively, without language. We respond to the most primal needs like hunger, fear, greed, acceptance etc. The innate primal sense is so powerful that it can decode the most fundamental triggers of the human interaction. We always “know” when someone is sincere. We always “sense” when someone has a hidden agenda.
This was a week of tremendous interactions for me. I attended a conference which brought together over 50,000 people, all of whom were there to find more business, more opportunities, more connections. It was an amazing display of the power of creativity and innovation, the dramatic impact that technology is making to our daily lives and yet, at the core, most business was done on the basis of the same primal senses.
Every culture and country in the world was represented in the conference and yet, those who created impact were people who had sincerity in their tone. These were the people who were willing to listen to others and be inclusive in their approach to knowledge assimilation and dissemination. They were generous in the sharing of their wisdom & perspectives. Their energy was perceptible and there was a magnetism around them that was so irresistible. They were supremely self assured and did not focus on establishing their credentials of success. They were not hungry for the visibility or the credit or the bonus. They are genuine & they care about your perspective.
Their focus is on creating “connect”. They recognize that the world is interdependent. They focus on the “connect” of thoughts, people, concepts and their power lies in the ability to plot the underlying pattern of interdependence & build further on it. They simplify. They remove the bias of language, prejudice, individual experiences & perceptions.
I believe that one of the key enablers to powerful connect, is the ability to assimilate our learning and experiences in an unbiased fashion. I have found that all of us tend to “classify” everything that we learn or experience. Taxonomy, classification and reference-ability are definitely needed to enable retrieval of stored information. However, I believe that the human mind is far more powerful that the most powerful storage network or the most advanced search engine or the most innovative cloud computing. It has the phenomenal ability to store, search and retrieve relevant information from years of unconnected learning and experiences.
However, it is our learning disabilities that prevent us from utilizing this powerful mind. Most of us have a tendency to classify and tag our inputs. Language (vocabulary) tends to be one of the biggest contributors to this tagging/ referencing that we undertake. We do it on basis of the defined taxonomy norms coupled with our sense of relevance. We also filter it, most unfortunately, on the basis of the people that we receive the knowledge or the experience from. As a result, we force the knowledge to be boxed into very specific reference tags in our mind and it fundamentally prevents us from retrieving that knowledge or experience in a different context or in a different situation. I firmly believe that the more generous we are in receiving and absorbing knowledge and experiences, the greater is our ability to connect them. They tend to “notice” little things, create and plot patterns of seemingly unconnected things, operate very comfortably in zones of chaos and easily fit in into the zones of discomfort. They are the people who seem to always be anchored, self assured & balanced.
It’s amazingly liberating when we eliminate the boundaries imposed by language & its related prejudices. Generosity, both when learning and sharing, is a powerful contributor to our indirect sphere of influence.
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