21 Jul

Message & Delivery

There are two main factors in communication:

  1. The message is what you want them to know
  2. The delivery is how you tell them what you want them to know

If the delivery contains too much 'noise' the message gets lost and the topic of discussion shifts to something that is not only completely irrelevant to the reason the interaction started, but is also completely avoidable.

Turn down the noise

At one point or another we have all been in an interaction where the person we are trying to speak to responds to the wrong part of the message, or they ignore the message entirely, choosing instead to educate you on the fact that "It's not what you said, it's how you said it". 

Before you know it, the conversation has been dragged away from the issue you raised and has become an argument about how you made them feel. This leaves both parties feeling frustrated, unheard, and wondering "Why do I bother if it's only going to end in an argument?" 

There are a number of solutions to this issue, but one of them is finding your volume dials and learning which noises to highlight, and which to reduce:

  1. Turn the volume up on the music: This is the content, the issue that you want to address: your requirement, your needs, your feelings, your concerns.
  2. Turn the volume down on the white noise: This is the hostility, snark, disrespect, contempt, blame, and accusation (See the article on the 4 Horsemen). 

I want to emphasise something here - these 'white noise' factors come from a very valid place - after all, you're not raising a sensitive issue because it doesn't mean anything to you. 

However, the validity of the 'hot' emotions triggered by the situation doesn't excuse poor behaviour. You are in control of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and words; turn the volume down on the white noise, and your message will be heard loud and clear.

Picking the right volume for me

Just as there is a sweet spot with your radio volume, there is one for your communication as well:

  1. Too low and you will struggle to convey the importance, urgency/of the message. It comes across as passive and 'meh'. 
  2. Too high and it can come across as aggressive/demanding/controlling, and you find yourself with another delivery problem.

Take a moment and think about your message and delivery. Do they need fine tuning, or a volume adjustment?

- Be kind & stay well. Until next time, Amylia

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