Mean it!

Considering I did a degree in it, I thought it was about time I wrote about communication. It is something that fascinates me. It’s amazing how one person can say something and yet another can hear something completely different. There are so many things that factor in to how a message can be interpreted and yet so often we simply offer lip service. “I love you’s” slip from our lips as easily and with as much emphasis as “Pass the ketchup.” We don’t think about what we are saying because we know what we are supposed to say. 

It works the same with companies as it does with individuals. The difference between a company that says they care and one that actually means it is huge. When a sales representative asks “Anything else I can help you with?” and you can tell they would actually want to help makes a huge difference compared to one who is just reading what is supposed to be next from the “Showing our customers we care” card.

Next time you are about to say something that often comes out sounding rehearsed such as: Thank you, I love you, or You’re Welcome, pause and take time to be grateful, feel love and enjoy the pleasure of being able to help someone.

Being genuine is the only way to ensure all of your actions match the message you are trying to send. Something that is missing is practice. Maybe we forget why we should be thankful that the report was ready on time, or that someone held the door for us. We feel that they are supposed to do these things, so when we say thank you it is only because we know we should, but do we feel truly grateful? We sure do feel ‘ungrateful’ to the person who lets the door close in our face, or to the person who doesn’t have the report ready. The problem is not that we shouldn’t be saying ‘thank you,’ but that we should be feeling grateful. If we stop to think about why we are thankful every time we say ‘thank you’ then the true feeling behind it will inherently grow. 

This is the same reason we teach our children to say “please” and “thank you”, because we want them to understand that the feeling they get when someone gives them a present (for example) is gratefulness, and to show we feel that we say “Thank you.”

We just need to continue to tie our words and emotions together so we can understand that they should be one. My favourite people I have met in work and in play are the ones that I can tell mean what they say and say what they mean.

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