Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thoughts on Communication

This morning I was contemplating about problems in communication. One interesting point that resurfaced, is that when we talk to others about some idea, we often state the conclusion, but often do not explain the thinking process behind it. This idea did not just came to my mind, it occurred because of multiple factors.


One of the factors is that around couple of years back, I happened to read a book “Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath”. In this book the authors mentioned an experiment in which the experimenters asked a group of participants to produce the beets for a song, and those participants were asked to guess how many people should be able to figure out the song. The participants suggested that around 50 percent should be able to figure out the song but the actual result was that only 2 percent were able to do so.


The authors suggest that we often underestimate the need to explain the context for a particular piece of information.


Another factor is also influenced by a book called Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society, by Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers. In this book authors do not prescribe what should we do, rather they explored the nature of transformational change—how it arises, and the fresh possibilities it offers a world dangerously out of balance. The book is presented as a series of discussions among the authors.


So I wonder, what if when we talk to people, we take them along the original thinking that lead to conclusion that we want to present?





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