Here is a humorous story that throws light on effective communication skills:
A man feared his wife could not hear as well as she used to and thought that she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he visited a doctor to discuss the problem. The doctor thought for a while and explained that he could perform a simple test to evaluate the extent of hearing loss.
That evening, the wife was in the kitchen cooking dinner when the husband came in. He thought to himself, “I’m about 40 feet away, let’s see
what happens.” Then in a normal tone he asked, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?”
So the husband moved to closer to the kitchen, about 20 feet from his
wife and repeats, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”
There was still no response.
He then walked up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. “Honey, what’s
Again there was no response.
As a last attempt, he walked right up behind her and asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”
To which the wife answered, “Sam, for the fourth time, we are having CHICKEN!”
The learning point in this anecdote is easy to see – always consider closing any communication gap that may arise before coming to conclusions.
Communication gaps arise due to many factors. They may be extrinsic – like noise or clutter; they may be intrinsic – lack of focus or preconceived ideas. Always keep an open mind during any form of conversation and aim at reducing the impact of uncontrollable factors. By consciously taking the effort to indulge in effective conversation, you can really go a long way in forming better relationships in the workplace and in your personal life.