Let us discuss

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.

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Grateful for the love and respect received so far. Inspire, motivate and enable anybody to achieve their limitless limits-that is my goal for the rest of my life. Worked in MECON, Mphasis, Cofounder KelpHR, kelphr.com

Categories Uncategorized9 Comments

9 thoughts on “Let us discuss”

  1. One can be a great communicator but English is an imperfect language.

    Here are some one-liners, two-liners, puns, jokes which good listeners can appreciate but also give freedom to mis-represent!

    1. My best mates and I played a game of hide and seek. It went on for hours… Well, good friends are hard to find.

    2. You’re not completely useless, you can always serve as a bad example.

    3. I broke my finger last week. On the other hand, I’m okay.

    4. Someone stole my Microsoft Office and they’re gonna pay. You have my Word.

    5. On the other hand, you have different fingers

    6. “Doctor, there’s a patient on line 1 that says he’s invisible”. “Well, tell him I can’t see him right now.”

    7. The first computer dates back to Adam and Eve. It was an Apple with limited memory, just one byte. And then everything crashed.

    8. eBay is so useless. I tried to look up lighters and all they had was 13,749 matches.

    9. I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off.

    10. My boss is going to fire the employee with the worst posture. I have a hunch, it might be me.

    11. Don’t spell part backwards. It’s a trap.

    12. My dad died when we couldn’t remember his blood type. As he died, he kept insisting for us to “be positive,” but? it’s hard without him.

    13. And the Lord said unto John, “Come forth and you will receive eternal life.”
    But John came fifth, and he got a toaster.

    14. What is the best thing about living in Switzerland? Well, the flag is a big plus.

    15. Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink.

    16. How did I escape Iraq?

    17. To the mathematicians who thought of the idea of zero, thanks for nothing!

    18. Son: “Dad, can you tell me what a solar eclipse is?”
    Dad: “No sun.”

    19. My boss told me to have a good day. So I went home.

    20. My math teacher called me average. How mean!

  2. Well written Menon. I come across such situations frequently trying to tell visitors how to reach our place conveniently. When I tell them to take the rightmost lane, they will take the leftmost thinking that I am wrong. After all, we in India drive on the left!

  3. Excellent and a classic rewind of the communication spool.
    This reminded me of my maiden trip to Mumbai ( then Bombay) in early 80’s. My only GPS was an inland letter from my friend depicting a layout of VT (CST now) station. He told me to wait there till day break when he will come to collect me. And it worked well.

  4. Communication (or mis-communication) has always been my “Subject No.1” on the list of Books i am planning to write…
    (hhhhhaaaaaaaahhhhaaaaaaaa no jokes please)…

    Now i can start on it, after all i got someone who knows how to write, without Communication-gaps…

    Many many many stories…
    Will try to key-in one such…

    During my “Advisory-days” for a Company in Tirupati, this happened…

    Great introductory interaction between me n the MD of that Company started with our Breakfast at Hotel Mayur (opp Bus-stand, where i checked-in previous night n that was my first stay at that Hotel)…

    On the Breakfast Table, they had placed mats mentioning the list of their Restaurants…

    What attracted me was the “ROOF-TOP RESTAURANT” n asked my Host casually how good is that Restaurant was n he said “…a good one n it is at top…”

    Of course i was wondering why at all he has to say the obvious that ‘it’s at top’ when it is clearly mentioned ‘Roof-top Restaurant’…

    That evening for Dinner i went to the Terrace (n the lift man came out of the lift n started walking with me, unusual i am sure) n i found no Restaurants at all…

    The lift man confirmed to me in broken Hindi that there is no Restaurants in Terrace…

    Next day in all earnestness i told the MD (when he joined me for Breakfast) about the “missing ROOF-TOP RESTAURANT”…

    WowWwww what a lovely explanation from him, “…..if someone says in Tirupati TOP, it means that it is at the TOP OF THE HILL (Temple place) n that i was foolish to think in any other way………”

    Speciality of this incident is that it happened between two experienced professionals, without the involvement of any other lesser souls (!!!) n to top it all, we both were famous for giving lectures on Communication…!!!

    Essentially most communication-gaps happen because people ASSUME n PRESUME…

    Yes Rajan, let us write one Book on this great subject…

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