TFFT: Communicating With the Right Intent.


Years ago I was at a conference when the key note speaker came on stage.  She was a professional and an impressive list of credentials.  She began her talk by telling us how she knew we were all probably incapable of understanding what she was going to talk about but she would attempt to reach us.  I am not sure how much attempt was in her talk because I immediately lost interest in what she had to say and the odd time I actually put together some of her words, I saw little evidence of her effort in that regard.

Just this week I have read half a dozen comments on social media where discussions side tracked from the subject to informing someone or some group that unless they learned to speak/write properly, they were not going to engage.  Ironically, if some of these people ever got out of their own insulated little bubble, they might find numerous other people who have difficulty understanding them.

These comments are usually based on language or accent, and sometimes even grammar.

If the purpose of communication is to exchange information then these people are as off base as the key note speaker.  If the purpose is to prance around as if you are some kind of special gift to humanity, then perhaps they should drop the pretense of a discussion or communication and just get on a stage and let the performance begin.  That way, those of us who find ourselves imprisoned as your audience, can begin plotting our escape.

We taught our kids that the words were not as important as the effort and the feelings behind the words.  For years I have worked with people who have struggled to express themselves.  Even in the workplace, my motto was always, say it, lets get the information out and then we can sort through it and work out what is there.  It is amazing how much more people are willing to share when they are not in fear of being judged for HOW they speak.  It is hard enough to speak when you worry about being judged for WHAT you are going to say.  I have always found that people have things to say that are worth listening to.  My job is not only to communicate what I think, but to also understand what someone else is saying.

I am particularly disgusted by people who are grammar monitors all over the internet.  They are as intrusive and unwelcome as that one aunt who would lick her thumb and wipe some mark off your face that only she could see or was bothered by.

Knock it off.

Particularly on the internet, you have no idea who the person is on the other end of the keyboard.  If you stop looking for a place to use your red pen, you might just learn something new.  And by the way, it never really reflects on the person you are correcting, it just tells me that you are an ass.

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