Talking to vs. Talking at

I’m not entirely sure that the title properly illustrates what this post is about but please read on and let’s explore this.

All opinions is this post are entirely mine; if you disagree about any part of it, please, feel free to leave a comment and let’s discuss it.

Effective communication goes way beyond just being able to pronounce words or string them together. The basic secret to communicating properly in a way that leaves all parties feeling good about themselves and the topic of discussion, lies in being able to string together words correctly.

A quick example, a few days ago, I went out to a store with my sister, we needed to buy a birthday present for a friend’s baby, and obviously, we needed it wrapped. So, we get to the check out counter and my sister said to the cashier, “hm, and you’ll wrap it”, I immediately said “why did you say it like that”, so she modified it “please, wrap it”, while this sounds, well, acceptable, I still believe that the request could have been made in better way, in way that the cashier would feel like a respected human who happens to work here, rather than some robot that’s simply there to cater to your needs.

I really do believe that if the request had been made as “also, could you wrap these up for me?” Or “please, I’d like to have these wrapped”, it would make the cashier feel better and therefore make them more willing to help. Besides, we never know what sort of day people are having sometimes and just showing the smallest consideration or kindness in the way we speak might just be the thing to turn their day a little around.

Instead of saying “wait”, say “1 minute, please”.

Instead of saying “what?”, say “excuse me?”

The list goes on and on, but the main point is to try to make someone’s day a little better by stringing words together with some consideration and kindness.


©Adeola Matemilola 2016

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