24 Sep 2004|Added Value

I recently returned from a trip to Spain. My ability to speak Spanish is rudimentary at best. But my exposure to the language everyday at Cheskin has given me the ability to understand a little and at least get the gist of many conversations.

I traveled with a friend fluent in Spanish and so found myself included in many a conversation with shop owners, cab divers, waiters and locals. I’m sure most Spaniards assumed I was as fluent as my companion, so politely directed their conversation my way as well, while I of course politely smiled, nodded and interjected an occasional si si. So were we communicating?

I wanted to think so! I’m sure the guy behind the counter in the Majorcan specialty shop thought he’d imparted to me all there was to know about the history, making and mixing of Absinthe. My expressions I’m sure told him that I understood everything. Just don’t ask me to make a cocktail with the stuff… while I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, we weren’t really communicating.

I attended a Project Management training session this morning. One primary piece of advice is to over communicate. Clearly, this alone though isn’t enough to ensure that information is received, understood and will be acted on appropriately.

We rush through our day delegating tasks, firing off emails, pontificating with PowerPoint and we forget that communicating isn’t necessarily about quantity, but rather the art of listening to hear if a message was truly understood.

prev next