Many of us have heard the saying, "Don't grocery shop while you're hungry." The reasoning is simple: If you are hungry and at the grocery, you'll tend to purchase things that address your sight-driven appetite now instead of your mind/body-driven meal plan later.
In business and technology, many of us have also heard how important it is to know what problem you want to solve before looking at a new tool or process. The reasoning is similar: If you don't know what problem you want to solve, the flashiest vendor demo, best salesperson, or most impressive UI/UX may influence your purchase. Whether or not the tool solves a problem or creates new ones remains to be seen.
Have a goal or bend to the wind.
And many of us have been taught similar behaviors when it comes to meetings, have an objective and an agenda, or the only real thing that happens during a typical interaction is meandering rubbish.
The above illustrations require intentional plans in advance of the experience. Absent a plan, results vary.
Were you to measure how much talking you do in a single day, what do you believe is the signal-to-noise ratio? How often do you think your message is lost in the noise? Does your method of communicating trample your message?
Talking is easy. Communicating is hard.
One happens without much thought. The other requires a goal and a plan.
How often have you experienced someone talking to you, or at you, where it was difficult to discern the real intent or message? Were you caught off guard? Did you receive a message different than expected? What was your default response?
Similarly, how often do you hear information, whether on the news, radio, social media bitstreams, or at work, where the message seems unwieldy, scary, or overwhelming?
The same is true when listening to someone talk.
Talking doesn't guarantee communication. And hearing doesn't guarantee listening.
Both must be intentional to realize desired outcomes.
Otherwise, it is just noise.
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