Focused Communicating

I am combining two DailyPost themes into one entry this time.

People communicate in so many ways: through spoken or sung words, touch, actions, gestures, expressions, and emotions. Listening attentively is the most important skill anyone can develop. It’s not just about writing.

I don’t text because it hurts my hands, and I lack the dexterity. Besides, it looks amateurish with all the abbreviations. It’s still a good thing to know, however, to figure out what someone else is saying–or trying to.

Writing helps me think better, and it helps me keep a record of things. I do write lengthy handwritten personal letters and make an effort to prepare articulate e-mails, but e-mail still feels impersonal sometimes. I like to talk with people by phone now. It’s creates so much more of a connection. Thank goodness I am finally free of the phone fear that plagued me for so many years! Social media and the Internet are here to stay, and sometimes it’s hard to know whether I’m doing all of that well.

Two books come to mind that help. A few years ago I read Send: Why People E-mail So Badly and How to Do It Better, by Shipley and Schwalbe (2007 and 2010). It was a relief to know that I was doing many things right. You really do have to think about tone, word choice, and completeness. Some communications are not conducive to e-mail. It’s best to be careful.

A more recent book that I have been using the deeper I get into Twitter is 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form, by Dom Sagolla. It’s not easy to share ideas in 140 characters or fewer.

As for staying focused, I have no pearls of wisdom. I’m glad no one can see my office (especially my desk) right now. The only advice I can offer is to pick a task, stick with it until it is done, and then go on to the next thing. No one can do two things at once.

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Filed under Blogging, improving writing

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