Work and Talk: Explicit lyrics

in thoughts •  2 months ago

Coming from a company that is having communication issues brings to mind some thoughts. This is good because that is what the mind is for, as it isn't just used for creating instinctual reactions based on cursory information like fight or flight behaviours of animals. At least in most humans, we are half decent analytical thinkers. Whether we apply and task our skill well is another matter.


The communication problem they are having can be summed up quite easily with a little analogy. If my wife asks me to pick up our daughter from daycare, I know precisely what is expected of me and the chance of bringing the wrong toddler home is less than 50%. If I ask a random person to do the same thing, they are unlikely to even find the right daycare.

In the question from my wife, there is a lot of information held that isn't spoken explicitly. Tacit information that I hold or at least, she assumes I hold which allows me to perform the task. The question itself (and all language) is a formula that carries more information than the words themselves.

It is much like a math formula except, there is no accepted convention and for each informational transaction, the meaning pulled from (or added to) the words can vary greatly. Some people take things literally, some read between the lines, many add their own meaning regardless of whether it is there or not.

This creates a lot of problems when expressing oneself to another or, communicating hoping for expected result. If the formula doesn't get the intended action, is it the communicator or recipient who is to blame?

As far as the company is concerned, it is the recipient as they themselves have successfully performed the same tasks with the same information in the past. The obvious problem is in that past, there was a great deal of experience working with those tasks and with each other meaning, conventions and standards for their communication had been created and learned by each member.

Now however, the tasks need to be performed by a group who have no experience, live in a different country, different culture and can therefore only rely on the information provided explicitly to get the job done. If there is information missing, they do not know it nor will they know to ask about it. Who is to blame?

This is a common communication problem in the world and people feel that they have explained well even though they have misswd critical background information.

This is also a massive problem with platitudes as no matter how much truth can be held in a few words, without the background experience and information to close the gaps for understanding, they are meaningless.

Even a saying as basic as the golden rule to treat others as one would want to be treated requires a great deal of inner reflection to truly understand how one wants to be treated. Intuition may speak one thing quickly but under examination, the real answer might be counter-intuitive.

People these days love lists, they love to feel like they have efficiently and effectively learned something that improves their experience. But, if their actions haven't changed, only the impression of learning has taken place. You might learn something brilliant from twitter but, if you don't spend time thinking about it and exploring it enough to affect what you do, what have you actually learned?

The mind can be a rambling mess, much like my words, but as it twists and turns, straightens and bends, it can reach places where thoughts change behaviours. Or not. The lessons we take away from the information we are exposed to are always ours.

Coffee break over, back to work.

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(posted from phone)

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Most excellent read with my coffee. I have never thought about it that way, but, yes! So right.

Now, if I were you, I would bring the right toddler home. Can you mark it in some way?


Can you mark it in some way?

lol, I hoped she would have my wife's looks but, she is identified by her father's squirrel cheeks.

"Who is to blame?" Well blame them. Everyone of us needs to be curious in one way or the other and try to find out any missing information. Yes people are supposed to tell us, but thats not enough.

...The mind can be a rambling mess, much like my words,

You have severe competition in that department , sir!

You seem much clearer than most, when it comes to explaining things clearly.


You seem much clearer than most, when it comes to explaining things clearly.

The problem is that I am thinking three posts at a time but only one gets written :)

Yes and that's not even taking in account language barrier problems. They thought they understood you, but in reality, they changed the signification of your sentence because they falsely interpreted your expression.
And don't get me started on sarcasm...


And don't get me started on sarcasm...

lol. It isn't always easy I am sure.

You are so right. People do learn lists but do not learn the lessons from those lists. Many have forgotten to listen. And good listening skills are key ingredient effective communication. Most of our communication is nonverbal. But most folks have not been trained and nonverbal communication. Thanks so much for your article.


Many have forgotten to listen. And good listening skills are key ingredient effective communication.

I think this is exacerbated by the internet culture of 'scream and hope someone is out there.'

Hi taraz. I think communication is the biggest down fall of most companies. I have worked for a handful and they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to communicating.


yep and this is in a country where social skills have a bit to be desired so there are added risks.