The Learning Communicator
The Learning Communicator is key to being successful in life.
In his book “The Fifth Discipline” Peter Senge addresses learning organizations. Senge explains how organizations need to constantly change to be competitive in today’s tough marketplace.
He states that leadership in learning organizations “are responsible for building organizations where people continuously expand their capabilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models—that is, they are responsible for learning.”
Senge also addresses that there are alternative future realities and they are dependent on the path that is followed.
On an individual level, we are responsible for becoming a learning communicator. There are many alternative future realities for us—as there are for organizations. If we choose the path of knowledge and growth, we have the greatest opportunity for a bright future.
The Cornerstone of Success
We communicate in countless ways everyday. It radiates from us in everything we say and do. Our words, body language and facial expressions are the normal ways we think about communication.
Beyond that, the way we walk, dress, project ourselves to others, our emotional state, attitude, disposition, how we manage a wide array of situations and a myriad of other subtle but powerful signals communicate who we are and what we are about to others.
One of the primary keys to effective communication and connecting is sincerity. Individuals who speak from the heart with a sincere desire to understand others and accept their differences become the true masters of communication.
People sense sincerity consciously and unconsciously. Thus, striving for genuineness promotes effective communication.
Sincerity is a matter of being comfortable with yourself. You are unique to the world. No one else is like you—not before and not after. This is a special gift and needs to be treated as such.
Equally, allowing others to be themselves is the greatest gift we can give them. Arguably the biggest problem with the world today is the lack of acceptance. In another word: tolerance. Race, religion, culture, upbringing, and a myriad of other factors can bring us together, or tear us apart. The decision is individualistic as to which paradigm will be followed.
Tolerance also includes acceptance of all our idiosyncrasies. You have them, I have them, and we all have them. Idiosyncrasies are part of our being.
Ben Franklin was a great statesman. It has been said that good-natured tolerance was the cornerstone of his success. Let it be ours as well.
To improve communication and connections with others the learning communicator must become more perceptive of the world around and have a strong desire to learn and grow. This is a conscious decision that needs to be made to be successful at our quest.
The decisions we make today dramatically alter our tomorrows. Opportunities to learn, grow and change are always knocking at our door. Whether or not we choose to open that door and welcome them in is a personal choice, but one that needs to be made.
If we embrace positive changes we learn and grow. If we choose to turn away positive change we begin to stagnate. Life is an activity that needs participation to be successful. Each person has a choice. Which will your choice be?
Fortunately, the foundation of good communication never changes. We only need to tweak the applications, and that is completely individualistic.
The way we view and interact with the world is as varied as snowflakes. What works well for me won’t necessary work for you. And what works for you won’t necessarily work for someone else. This customization of communication may seem a bit difficult, but it is part of the beauty that makes us all different.
To achieve your own customization as a learning communicator you must try different techniques over time. Some will work, others won’t. You will make mistakes in communication—no matter how hard you try. We all do. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and to sincerely work on improving your communication strengths. Just do your best. That’s all people can expect.
The Continuing Journey
We have taken a journey though these communication articles. My purpose has been as a guide to assist you in the exploration of some useful tools and techniques to be an effective and continually learning communicator.
Beyond that, communication is about relationships. From the person we meet on the street for two minutes and may never see again to the people we know and care about for a lifetime, we build relationships.
One of our deepest needs is to connect with one another—to resonate on the same wavelength. People who continually improve their ability to communicate with others improve their connections.
Those who have solid connections with others have happier, healthier, and more productive lives. Being an effective communicator is truly one of the keys to a prosperous life.
Changing our paradigm from communication being the way we interact with others to the way we connect with others during our interactions is subtle, but a move that opens countless doors in life that few choose to access. A wise professor of mine, known as Dr. G., once said, “If you don’t want to be like everyone else, don’t act like everyone else!”
A lifelong mentality of being a student of people coupled with the willingness to change and evolve as a communicator will serve you well throughout the years.
Using the world as a classroom gives you the opportunity to become an effective and powerful learning communicator and to connect deeply with others.
— Chuck Clayton
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