Jun 26, 2009

WEEKLY UPDATE: Speaking Truly with Barbara J. Henry

This week, my guest blogger, "Journal Lady" Barbara J. Henry, got me reflecting over some embarrassing communication moments. One that quickly springs to mind and brings a smile to my lips is one I merely overheard:

A friend was checking his messages as I waited in the next room to give him privacy. After at least 3 solid minutes, I realized I'd been hearing a steady drone in the same tone of voice wafting down the hall. I couldn't help myself, but had to burst into his study to ask, "I'm sorry, but is that all one message?"

My friend laughed so hard he snorted, and replied, "Honestly, if this guy doesn't take up the entire machine tape, this'll be a shorter message from him than usual!"

Some people have a very hard time organizing their thoughts (this particular caller was narrating his every move as he ambled through the reason for his call, jumping from subject to subject and failing miserably at staying focused). If you suffer this same dilemma, jotting down notes before making a call or composing a text-based message may help you hone what you want to say, and stay on track.

Ask yourself:
1) Who am I to this person? (Even a quick note to a friend should include a polite identifier; when I call my sister, I still say, "Hi, Sis!" immediately.)

2) What do I want from this person? (For example: "I'm calling to see if you want to go to the movies this Friday.")

3) When, where & how can we connect in the future? (Say, "You can reach me at home or leave a message on my cell" to someone who already has your contact info.; or to a new/formal contact, be sure to speak slowly and repeat your primary phone number.)

For tips on paring down more intimate messages between romantic partners, see my guest post to Barbara's blog.

(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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