It wasn’t too very long before I was born, that the transistor, began to become ubiquitous.
The result is, in my youth, there started to be more publicly available things like, transistor radios and walkie talkies.
Though I don’t much remember them as a child, I recently bought a set of the latter, in order to give my son, what experience I had gleaned over the course of time.
I learned again, the lessons from my childhood. If you keep the device keyed, the other person’s transmissions don’t get through to you.
In the course of time, you begin to anticipate the speech of the other party.
In some instances, you find out, that somebody nearby, has receipt and, possibly transmission equipment, using the same frequency, as do your units.
It’s then you find out about cross talk. That’s when the conversations of others, can at least partially be heard on your device.
In the course of time, I demonstrated another interesting possibility to my boy. I showed him feedback.
It’s easy to do on most walkie talkies, all that’s necessary, is to get one unit in close proximity to the other, and key the microphone on it.
In these simple devices, you learn many basic concepts of conversation.
To begin with, you find out that there’s a problem with the idea of just speaking, without waiting for you fellow in discussion, to finish what he or she is saying.
You also learn that the back and forth of verbal communication is exactly that, back and forth.
Then comes the lesson of politeness many seem to never have learned. When in a crowd, people talking, can be easily interrupted by others chiming in, while they’re trying conduct simple dialog.
In the former gear, that would be roughly equivalent to cross talk.
Another interesting lesson, is that of feedback, which funnily, is generally considered a positive thing in most situations.
In the radio world, it’s almost always an annoyance, capable of damaging your equipment.
It’s partly for the reason that various issues exist in spoken communication, that I’ve favored certain other forms. For some time, email has been a favorite.
These days, I’m prone to spend more than a little time, in the creation of pieces of prose, similar to the one you’re now reading.
As great a propensity as I have, towards not dealing with speech though, it’s still a quite necessary and important thing, with which one must labor.
That considered, I wanted to talk about a few issues surrounding such back and forth.
The first of these, is the tendency that I see occasionally, of folks “turning off” other speakers in their mind. It’s more obvious, than many seem to realize when they do so. I consider this an unfortunate turn of events, since it really precludes any further meaningful dialog.
Related to this, is dealing with folks, who have childlike viewpoints.
When you’re talking with children, that not only shouldn’t be a surprising thing, it ought to be a somewhat expected one.
On the other hand, when speaking with adults, my hope is, I won’t find them to be in similar places. Sadly, at times that’s not the case. Interchange with such folks, can be more than a little difficult, to say the least.
Another seemingly tough to overcome concern, is those who seem to believe, when you come to them with facts and logic, speaking as you normally would, that you’re guilty of some sort of abuse or other. It certainly makes one wonder if, in the minds of some, “losing arguments” is in some instances, roughly the same thing, as being abused.
Each of the listed concerns, are things with which I’ve had far too much experience for my liking.
I’m not by any means, a communications expert. That said, it seems to me there are a good many folks, who’re downright primitive, where such skills are concerned.
My consistent desire though, is to continue to improve my ability, such that I can overcome what appear to be, all but insurmountable obstacles, to the robust flow of information.
This is something I think to be one of the more important things, one might seek to achieve.
For most of the previously mentioned, it seems the best solution much of the time, is to walk away for a period, recognizing the potential to engage with others, at some point in the future.
I’m forever hopeful though, that I’ll come up with some means of breaking through, that aren’t so caustic or jarring, as to make people feel intimidated or bullied, by the mechanism used.
To date, for the most part, I’ve yet to find tools that make that possible on a regular basis. That’s not to say that at times, I’m not able to achieve desired ends, just that it’s nothing like consistent.
Now and then, I find that you can get a person to engage, by moving from statements, to questions. An important factor in such an approach, is to actually ask. In other words, the idea of leading people in any but the most basic ways, tends to be a bad one for the most part.
To some degree, since discussion tends to be on a specific topic or set of them, I don’t think it’s entirely possible, to not move banter, in certain directions, but when you ask instead of telling, you allow the person with whom you’re dealing, to respond either in agreement, or explain why they can’t hold with what you’re saying.
In all of this, it’s important to realize, verbal communication is a skill I can honestly say, I haven’t mastered to this point in my life. I hope the older and more experienced I become, I’ll come to be better at it, than I am at present.
If I had to give advice to others though, I would certainly say, they ought to remember, conversation’s a two-way street. You give, and you get, if you’re not interested in both, you’ll probably have discussions that are far less fruitful.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.