Keep It Short and Pointed!

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

You don’t need to be long-winded to get a point across, in fact, it’s better if you’re not.  Now days if you take too long to get to the point you will lose your audience and even those who stick around to try to figure out what you’re saying, may forget what the original topic was if you take too long to get to the point.

Communication is not about speaking, it’s about listening,” Simon Sinek.

I agree with Simon, to communicate good listening skills are required, so do us all a favor and learn to cut the “fluff” and long descriptions.  If we want that type of writing we’ll pick up a novel and enjoy the scenery and visions that dance in our head.  However, if your topic is instructional, inspirational, business oriented, or something you want to share to improve the lives of others, then get to the point so that we can grasp the information quick and apply it.

Life is short, let’s find ways to improve our writing skills, improve our listening skills, and learn to communicate in a way that everyone can grasp and enjoy.

Why did I write on this subject?  I read my last post.  Ha.

-Cherry Coley ©

Telling Tales and Sharing Stories

Sometimes we just try too hard.  Have you ever found yourself over explaining something because you wanted the other person to understand what you were saying so bad and you wanted to make a good impression?  They sit there with a nod and a smile pasted on and you just find yourself explaining when you should probably be quiet instead. 

What’s worse are the times when you find yourself or watch someone else try too hard.  They go above and beyond explanations on to hand motions or sketches to keep on explaining something beyond the facts that are definitely known.

I have a friend that loves to embellish stories.  I suppose since we are in Texas they could someday wind up as Texas tall tales.  Sometimes they just embellish a little bit and everyone just kind of overlooks it and goes on.  Other times, the embellishment gets rather wild and things that happened to someone else suddenly become personal experiences that were much bigger and more harrowing each time the tale is told, depending on whom the tale is being told too, and who they are trying to impress.

We have a few story tellers in my family.  My aunt was one and she was a fast talker too!  My aunt and uncle came to visit us from California one year and she decided she would share with us all her stories about the same time my dad piped up and decided he would share all his with her.  Together in the same room they both chattered and no one else could get a word in upside down, sideways or otherwise.  Honestly, at night we could hear the walls still ringing with the sound of those two trying to out talk each other.

My aunt was hard to follow with her stories because she didn’t really pause between them and if you weren’t really sticking to every word she said then you could get lost and never find your way back to the conversation.  She would switch subjects and keep right on going despite all the blank looks in the room. 

It was great to see them and that they got to come visit, but I often look back on that and wonder how much more enjoyable it would have been if they had been a little more considerate of each other and the other people in the room.  How much more could we have learned from each other if everyone had taken turns sharing, stopped and listened to each story or experience, then allowed someone else to have a say.  It’s we will never know now, but it is an experience to remember.  Now when we have someone come visit we will, find ways to not allow one person or a few to dominate all the conversations all the time.  If nothing else we will make a game of it so that there is equal sharing time.

Time is fleeting and too important to waste.  Time invested with loved ones should be shared and enjoyed and one thing that makes that possible is taking the time to establish and practice good communication so that each person feels heard, valued and equally important and included in the group.

Cherry Coley ©

You are Important!

Don’t you hate it when you are in the middle of a conversation and suddenly you get lost?  The person talking is emotional and the subject is important, but somehow some where they changed subjects or switched things a little in the middle of their talk and you are struggling to get back on track and figure out what they are talking about. 

Don’t panic, it happens sometimes to the best of us, especially if it’s someone with a different personality than yours.   What to do?  Don’t just let them go on with their story and stay lost hoping they will say something that brings you back into the conversation, gently stop and ask for clarification.

It’s important in good communication that you follow what the other person is saying are understand what they need you to understand.  I have been one that would allow the conversation to go on thinking I understood, then come to find out later that I really didn’t.

After looking at the different relationships in my life, I realize that in order to cultivate them and have more fulfilling friendships and deeper relationships with my family and the people I love that it’s more important for me to ask questions than to just assume anything at all. 

I wonder now at some of the relationships in my past.  Would things have turned out differently if we had communicated better?  I don’t know.  Perhaps, in some cases, we would have realized we didn’t have much in common earlier. 

The important thing to remember is that communication is vital to all relationships.  Take the time to share, watch facial expressions, make eye contact and really listen to what’s being said.  Show the people in your life that you appreciate, respect them and that they are important to you.

Cherry Coley ©

They’re Just Words

It can be hard to say the right thing at the right time.  How many times do we sit and say nothing and then later wonder why we didn’t say something?

I can’t count the times when I’ve wished later that I said something other than what actually came out.  Words taken then wrong way can be damaging and hurtful.  Words not spoken at all can lead to hurt as well because sometimes we give the impression we don’t care, or are preoccupied. 

I love words, but sometimes they have been my enemy.  I have struggled and fought with them to make them share my thoughts in a way that might make sense to someone else.  I don’t always succeed.  Sometimes clear communication can be elusive. 

It’s times like those, when words just aren’t enough, that I am thankful to be able to reach out, hold, hug, touch someone’s hand, or just share a smile.  At times when words won’t come, tears or a look can say far more than anything I could manage to say out loud.

Communication is far more than just words, with some people it comes easy, while others are a bit more of a challenge because we are all different.  Yet communication is a gift that can bring together people of all ages, all nationalities, and from every circumstance given the chance.

Cherry Coley (c)