Will We Ever Understand?
Compared to all other forms of animal communication, human language is a unique and sophisticated system for conveying information. Why is it then, that humans have been struggling since man spoke his first words? Mix-ups and misunderstandings occur because we all have different communication styles. Conveying information is easy, but interpreting it is a challenge.
Everyone has their own communication style, and according to science, it has a lot to do with gender. We all know the classic stereotypes of the overly chatty woman and the strong silent man. Women like to talk, men prefer action. Women tend to explain with more detail and emotion while men are more direct and concise. Endless research on this topic clearly shows that we have the tools we need to improve our communication skills but most of us are still struggling when it comes to communication and understanding style has a lot to do with it.
Listening to communication styles
Improving our communication skills requires understanding and respecting other people’s communication styles. One way to do this is by actively listening, rather than just waiting for an opportunity to respond. As Bryant H. McGill said, “One of the sincerest forms of respect is to actually listen to the other person.” By taking the time to listen and learn from others, we can improve our relationships and have more successful dialogues where everyone feels heard.
We may not be able to get rid of the old stereotypes, and there are obvious exceptions to the rules. Learning from one another increases our chances for successful dialogue where everyone feels heard. Effective communication is essential in all aspects of our lives, whether it is at work, in personal relationships, or in the larger community. By understanding and respecting different communication styles, we can improve our ability to convey information.
photo credit: Vera Arsic