Those were the telegram days. My cousin was going to Banaras, now Varanasi, to appear for some test. I told him I will send a phonogram about his arrival time and the train details and someone will be there at the railway station to meet him. Phonogram is dictating a telegram message over the phone. This was in the eighties. I call up the post office and tell them I want to a send phonogram. Yes, the voice at the other end asks, address ? I say VV Menon. The guy at the other end says bhi bhi Menon. I tell him it is VV, yes Bhi Bhi, he replies. More clarification from my side, V for victory, yes clear bhi for bhictory comes the reply. I spell out the rest of the address and message in short, every word is charged, we have to be miserly and make sense.
My cousin reaches varanasi station and no body is waiting for him. He takes a cycle rickshaw and manage to find the house. They were surprised to see him and when asked about the telegram, Mr Bhi bhi Menon, brings out a small paper and shows and asks what should I make out of this. Its a telegram alright and the message says ” arriving tits”.
Even morse cannot decode that. The name and train schedule all summarised as “tits”. Those were the days of communication my friends and we survived.
The number one revolution that has happened is in communication. Today communication happens before you finish your thoughts.
It’s the speed that has changed, the call, social media like whatsapp or Twitter or facebook. The effectiveness of the communication or the communication skill is still with the individual.
Murali was coming to our place for the first time and I am guiding him through the cell phone. When you come down on the double road, you will see a water tank. Immediately take a left turn and then you will come across a bakery, turn right, its the third house.
Later a call comes, I see a water tank on top of every house, which is the one are you talking about ?
I had meant a huge water tank belonging to the water authority for public distribution.
We know the place well, the new comer has no idea. A water tank may be huge, it may be covered by a big tree and go unnoticed.
Our responsibility do not end with what we say what you have to. It ends only when the listener understand exactly what you wanted to say.
Communication is the key in every relationship, management, leadership, all areas.
Never mind how well you communicate, the mischief mongers can easily turn it into a miscommunicate.
When pope went to Texas,some reporter wanted to have his views about the large number of night clubs. He asked ” are there night clubs here “. Next day the paper had a headline saying Pope asks ” are there night clubs here “.
I remember a cricket news about Azharuddin dropping a catch while fielding in the first slip. He dived in front of the second slip and dropped the catch. He was sorry he unnessarily intercepted and dropped the catch which was a straight forward one for the guy standing in second slip.
He was apologetic and said it was not his catch and he should not have dived for it.
The headlines, Azhar says it was not his catch.
One in recent times, an MP asking the finance minister, do you eat onions and she says ” I dont eat onions”. She was trolled, since she does not eat onions she doesn’t care for the price of onions which was soaring and it was further twisted adding color of religion, caste etc.
Never mind how good communicator you think you are , you can lose your job, by deliberate misinterpretation and twists, by vested interests.
Many politicians and celebrities, when trolled, defends by saying ” it was out of context or what I meant was not..”.
For effective communication, you should be a good listener. Listen to understand, rather pick a thread and start talking before some one finishes what they have to say.
Remember, an argument tries to establish who is right whereas a discussion, what is right. Let us discuss.