Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Dare You Say That!

Communication is a 2-way process. Effective communication must be made up of good sending AND good receiving.

If you're a boss, a parent, or a good friend, you've probably had to tell someone something that is not easy to hear. Hopefully, you've structured and sent your message in a dignified way (without raising your voice, without harsh language, with genuine concern, etc).

On the receiving end of the message, we find good receivers and bad receivers. Some can take constructive criticism, apply it, and learn from it. On the other hand, bad receivers get defensive and hurt. Often, this negative response is rooted in an insecurity, which is understandable, but still not effective.

For example, I taught speech classes for a couple of years. I told some students that they needed work. Some listened and improved. Others grumbled & felt hurt. The latter was not beneficial to anyone.

Another incident was when a dear friend accused me of gossip. My first response was, "What a jerk!" But soon I realized, he was right. Today, I appreciate his honesty, because it impacted my life.

Oh, the work it takes to be a good receiver.

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