WORKING BETTER TOGETHER: LEADERSHIP SERIES
The Art of Communication
When we need to accomplish something, or get others to join us, give their support or buy-in or help us create change, our success depends on how well we communicate.
There's a story that's been floating around for many years, one that resurfaces from time to time even though it's just a myth. It's a useful one though for illustrating what can happen with a failure to communicate. Here's the story:
Transcript of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland:
Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision."
Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision."
Americans: "This the Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the 2nd largest ship in the US Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north or counter measures will be taken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: "This is a lighthouse. Your call."
The story of The Obstinate Lighthouse shows how disastrous things might be when people don't have the facts or ask the right questions, make incorrect assumptions or simply try to force their view. When people fail to communicate effectively, waste ensues – waste of time, energy, resources. Work suffers. Relationships are damaged.
The Art of Communication focuses on the use of storytelling in communication. This session helps participants analyse the word craft, scope and assumptions inherent in a message, expands listening skills and develops the technique of crafting powerful questions to guide others to your destination. We’re at our communication best when we make others think and feel through the stories we share and invite.
Click here for a podcast on the Art of Asking Good Questions.
"I met Barbara at the Labour College of Canada where she was conducting workshops on leadership and communication skills.