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There is a third aspect to communciation that has nothing to do with information or meaning but with feeling.

I believe we always communicate our virtue (whether we are aware or not and whether the other notices or not).

My tip is that very little (if anything) of what you say is remembered within an hour. But how you made them feel (our virtue) is held as a body memory for a long time. What's more you'll know from their face how you made them feel the next time you meet (if they haven't avoided you). A warm smile and you can talk, a big hug and you discuss just about anything.

Peter



@John - we are in a service and experience economy. Communication skills should be dial tone, required, just like reading skills. We should have no patience with people who don't understand and work to bridge that gap. We should not include definitions in PowerPoint decks, we should *live* those principles in the way we interact and work. It's 2010 for crying out loud. We sent people to the moon. We can do this. Perhaps the "doctor mode" is a symptom for what is expected: everyone behaves that way because it doesn't occur to people that they can and need to take responsibility and hold themselves accountable for evolving with what situations require. Indeed, listening is a big part of the communication exchange.

@Jack - connection can be a domino effect to form a chain for shared meaning to be part of the equation. You read an author who inspires you, do something differently because of that, and someone else benefits from it. This is shared meaning, even if distributed. The two-way part in communication is you reading, the author sharing, someone else listening to you.

@Tony - people think they are having a conversation by email when often they are using it to lop something over the wall, or as CYA tool. As you pointed out, immediate satisfies a short term, unilateral, criterion. "And by my own admission, just because I work hard at it, doesn't mean I always succeed." bravo!

@Deni - corporate communication is often too in love with itself to want to notice it's talking all over itself. Mission and vision statements mean nothing if they are not lived through each action. Same with branding. So yes, there is often a disconnect.

@Deb - excellent point. Your customers do not see you nodding your head inside an office building. Tell them what you just did, or what you are going to do, then confirm you have done that. It's like the *photo opp*, when people want to show off to the boss that they've done something, just more public ;)

First of all, I love the Teddy Roosevelt quote; it has always been a favorite.

I think I would add something, not to keep dogging on corporations, but a challenge I have noticed is closure. I have experienced customer service via twitter and email and on a number of occasions, the corporation, did not close the conversation and left me hanging. I have seen this in other's online communications- not completing a threaded conversation on twitter, or not responding on a forum such as Get Satisfaction. Shared meaning probably could be broken down into several parts with closure being the last part ;)

Thanks for another thought provoking post Valeria!

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