“But communication is two-sided – vital and profound communication makes demands also on those who are to receive it… demands in the sense of concentration, of genuine effort to receive what is being communicated.”
What a great reminder that there is a sender and a receiver involved in communications. There is someone who is sharing information and therefore sending a message and there is someone who is the receiver. Certainly when you are sharing information you want to do everything in your power to ensure the message is clear. You want to use the best possible medium to share the information. You want to think about timing, you want to eliminate as much noise as possible. Noise does not just mean sounds, it also means distractions. When you are communicating with others you are trying to do it in the most effective way possible. I don’t think you would give someone their performance appraisal while you were both riding a roller coaster. THAT would involve noise (as-in the sound of the roller coaster and the screaming riders) and distraction in the form of the actual ride. A better location for a performance appraisal would be in a quiet office or conference room.
What about when someone is trying to share information with you? Well as the receiver of that communication you have a responsibility. Your responsibility is to do the best you can to understand and interpret (or decode) what you are being told. If you cannot hear, you need to say so. If a word or expression is not clear to you, you need to say so. If you are not sure why certain information is coming your way, you want to ask about it. Why are you being told (or sent) this information, what are you expected to do with it or about it? If the timing is wrong, perhaps you are in the midst of a crisis or walking down the hall to a presentation, you should mention that another time would be better.
The responsibility for communication does not reside with just the sender or just the receiver, it is a joint responsibility.
PS – It is not too late to join me for the ‘What’s YOUR Communication Style?’ webinar, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Follow this link (or cut and paste it into your browser) to register. https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/716075702