“Imagine passing a home under construction and watching the carpenter attempt to build the house with only a hammer and screwdriver. He might be able to get some of the tasks done, but certainly not all of them, and he would be unable to achieve his goal. The solution: adding to his toolbox in order to build a set of tools that allows him to reach his goal successfully.” –From “Practical Communication: 25 Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Getting Along and Getting Things Done”
Like the carpenter referenced above, most of us don’t have all the tools we need to successfully navigating our daily interactions. As children, we learn our basic skills at home. We go to school and learn how to read, write, and speak properly. However, most of us never receive true “interpersonal communication,” training. Therefore, we go through life trying to make our limited tools work in all the complicated situations we encounter. Sometimes we get lucky. Other times, we make a mess of things.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a complete communication toolbox? One of those shiny, six-foot-tall jobs with lots of drawers and compartments filled with a communication tool for any situation?
No more struggling with questions like:
How do I say no to my boss, friend, or mother-in-law?
How do I handle a disrespectful coworker, neighbor, or customer?
How do I tell someone I’m angry with him or her without starting an argument?
We’d have just the right tool for each of these situations.
My goal for this blog is to provide tools to add to your communication toolbox and to have you help me add tools to mine. I want all of us to have that six-foot tall, shiny toolbox filled with communication tools for every situation and challenge. When we have the right tools, we will have the ability to achieve the ultimate goal in communication—the balance between “getting along” and “getting things done.”
I look forward to providing tools and answering your questions, and to learning from you as well. So … what’s the first tool you’d like to add to your communication toolbox?