Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is Communication a Dead Art? (Or is it Merely Suffering a Debilitating Illness?)

OK, so maybe it’s not dead. Maybe it’s just changing. You hear all the time about how people don’t communicate face-to-face (as much) anymore. We’re all glued to “screens” (computer, TV, game systems, cell phones).

One of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen is a group of teenagers, all sitting around, texting each other. While they’re together in the same room. Breathing the same air.

But it makes me wonder…do we still know how to communicate?

I’ve met, especially recently, people who need to learn some communication skills. (And maybe even a little bit of conflict resolution.)

We all know of situations where something (sent, via email or even text message) is misconstrued. But these miscommunications are not limited to our cyber world. There are plenty of people out there who could use a lesson in communication.

So many times, you’re going along, thinking that everything is OK, and someone gets their nose bent out of shape. And you’re done for. No explanation. Just silence.

Well, how can I fix it if you don’t tell me what I did to make you mad?

Then, there are people who act totally inappropriately when faced with a conflict situation. (Physical violence is a good example of this.)

And then you have those who commit verbal assaults.

In my opinion, none of these are the right way to deal with conflict.

This isn’t exclusive to the homeschooling world. You see it in every day life.

Putting your head in the sand is NOT the way to deal with it. If you want to have relationships in life…(wait…make that HEALTHY relationships), you try your best to get along with people. Unless, of course, you LIKE being alone.

It is my hope, that in public and private schools, these types of behaviors are dealt with early on. The time to learn these skills is when you’re young.

But it’s not just kids and teenagers who need a lesson in communications skills. Adults need to learn some of these lessons as well.

As one of the people responsible for a large homeschool group (with over 80 families), one of my goals is to make sure that this is something we’re all equipped to deal with…

We are not immune to conflict or behavioral issues. Maybe it’s time to look into bringing an expert in…

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