Wednesday, 7 August 2013

About Communication

Communication skills are of such importance and make such an impact that a president can be remembered for it: 

Ronald Reagan was known as 'The Great Communicator'. 

At first sight that might sound a bit strange. Why remember someone for - and name him after - 'just' his communication skills? 

After all, is there anything as easy as communication?

You tell what you've got to tell, in an easy way, for everyone to understand, and that is that. How difficult can it be?!

Well, simplicity is the most difficult thing of all. 

It is no miracle we talk about noble simplicity. In German it is even 'noble simplicity, quiet grandeur'. 

Simplicity is an art in itself. That we humans, in general, rarely possess.  

And next to never when it comes to communication. 

Most of us communicate in a very difficult way, with as result; a true quagmire of confusion and frustration.   

We do not actually read our emails; or we do not reply to them out of fear to say 'no'; we wriggle ourselves out of an annoying situation in a very complicated way, frustrating for everyone; we use others to convey a negative message to someone else; we talk behind the back of people instead of to them...
We need 5000 words to explain something that could be said in one phrase; we forget to put our phone number in our website;
we instantly kill our own standing by being a talker rather than a listener...

We agree to do things we will regret; or if we refuse do it in an insulting manner; we do not apologise... or things do simply not come over our lips the way we intended to. 
It is unimaginable, the amount of time, potential and happiness lost over us being so bad at communication. 

Many a friendship or business relation has ended over bad communication.

Worse; if such a relation ended, it is most probably because of that.
Whereas it is so simple:

If you are being asked a question, you think. 
You give the answer that is honest. 
You tell why you give that answer. 
While you balance it with kindness, respecting the values of the other.

Does that sound hard to do? 
But there you go: the simplest things in life are the most difficult. 

Why? Because our mind is not simple. It exists of millions of wires spread over 3 brain parts, grown over millions of years, and further molded by experiences and voices of dozens of people in our personal life. (Let's say 'we hear dozens of voices').

This causes an eternal battle between ratio, heart, balls, aspirations, dreams, aims or what we consider to be realism; a true web in which we ourselves are lost as well; we hardly know what we want, or what is good for us.

In the midst of a life that is already difficult and saturated with conflicting signs.

So if someone is a clear communicator, easy to understand, leaving no room for confusion while at the same time being kind... we are astonished. It is unique.

This lies at the core of every successful Brand and every successful person: excellent communication.

The message in a piece of literature is usually a very complicated or unique one, and thus literature becomes great when it succeeds to get that message across.

World Literature is that novel that touched the heart or changed the lives of millions across all cultures...  by making a highly complicated emotion or fact of human life understandable to the reader.

From India to Spain, from New Zealand to Russia: people understand Jane Austen. Wrapped in Englishness, straight out of the 19th century, but with a universal message, understandable by all.

No matter where you live: you will recognize her characters. You will say: that's really my uncle, my neighbour, a colleague of mine! Or: I had exactly the same problem!  I know that situation! Or simply: exactly!

Out of the thousands of politicians that have passed by over the past decades, we only remember a few: Reagan, Thatcher, Clinton, Mandela... the great communicators.

You do not need a complicated website. You need one that is a great communicator. 

You will not have a lot of competition.


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