Honest to-goodness two way Communication is hard.
It’s hard because each side holding up their end of the conversation has to have a common frame of reference before anything meaningful can be conveyed and understood.
Speaking the same language. Having a common world view. Wanting similar outcomes. On the same topic.
Most conflicts, micro and macro, have at their heart a deficiency in this common frame of reference.
The significantly difficult parts of my job aren’t all the technical details involved in my day to day development tasks – it’s in managing the frames of reference that I move between when speaking with customers and colleagues.
And it’s getting more difficult as technology advances even faster.
Some clients won’t answer the phone or voice mail, and are offended if you call unannounced.
Some associates don’t read their email, or if they do, never respond to it.
Others only write me in the wee dark hours of the night.
I’m not talking about cold-calling prospects.
These are people with whom I transact business. Regularly.
As time goes on, I have to make a more concerted effort to reach whatever comfortable frame of reference the person I’m trying to influence happens to dwell within. Not that I don’t want to; only that the effort eats up more and more of my time than I care to admit to.
It’s never enough to know the bare facts of any conversation; in order to be an effective communicator, you have to master the contexts and frames of reference that your target market or customer base carries around with them.