The Roman orators were riveting in the elegance of their communication skills. They drew in audiences with the content of their message, their gestures, the crescendos and diminuendos of their voices. Have we lost those communication skills today, with email, texting, twitter, and abbreviated facebook updates? I love technology as much as the person, but I sometimes think that interpersonal communication skills may be falling by the wayside–especially when it comes to telling people things that could help them in the workplace, but co-workers may be reluctant to approach the subject. Case in point: Do you tell someone with whom you share an office that you’d appreciate it if they would pass wind in another area? Do you mention to a colleague that the shrill register of his voice may be grating on the boss’s nerves? Do you tell an older adult at work that you don’t want to have a “y” attached to your name because it makes you feel like a baby? Dr. Norman Davis (author of The Black Quarterback Syndrome) is an expert in the field of the “undiscussables” and YES, in most cases he feels there IS a way to have an honest discussion about everything. That doesnt’ however, mean that our words should gratuitously hurt someone. Before you speak, take a quick check of your own motives. Are you saying something for no other reason than to zing someone else? If so, don’t do it. The old rhyme that “sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me” is false. Hateful words have been known to drive people to commit suicide. Always speak with kindness and approach your fellow human being with good positive intentions. Know the difference between being helpful and being insensitive or unkind.
Tune in to “The Art of Living Well” tomorrow morning at 7AM EST on 88.7FM WNHU or stream in live www.wnhu.net for a discussion about the undiscussables with my special guest Dr. Norm Davis.