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Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to Communicate

How to Communicate
Subtitle: People have forgotten HOW to do simpler things. Again. Like in 2013 I need to go back to the basics. We're gonna start here. 

Step 1: Thinking before acting. This was my Tae Kwon Do studio's motto.  Basically it means that you need to think things through before opening your mouth, typing that text/tweet/FaceBook status or doing something. Here is how it should work: 

IDEA  -------> Is this a good idea? Does it make sense? Could it be misunderstood? Could it hurt someone? 

If yes to the first two and no to the rest then by all means, proceed.

If no to the first two and yes to the next two then STOP YOUR STUPID ASS AND HAVE SOME WINE. (See Step 10) 

Step 2: Did I mention NOT to be an asshat? 

Step 3: Speak properly when you do. I don't mean having flawless grammar, we all make mistakes and you're an asshole like discussed in #1 if you jump RIGHT on someone's status, tweet, text, verbal instructions etc, to point out something silly and common. This, however, is different than speaking professionally. Remember me teaching online? Here is a conversation that I had the other day with another professional that is in charge of helping the students in the building with the computers and tech. 

Other teacher: So, the listening section is only working on one computer. 
Me: Ok (asks a few questions to trouble shoot - easily discovers problem). You will need to update Java on the other computers. 
Other teacher: WHAT!?!? I did that already, in like (yes she said LIKE!!) in August. 
Me: Yeah, but they offer updates throughout the year. I had to do my own yesterday. 
Other teacher: That is SOOO stupid. I'm just gonna play it really loud. 

See the above conversation. That's a no-no. Be professional. 

No wine here, we need you coherent. 

Step 4: Don't be an asshat. No one likes an asshat and if you're an asshat no one is listening to you and then no communication is occurring. 

Step 5: Research what you are talking about or at least have a clue. I'm not asking that you become an expert, but have some basis for your blather. Case in point: Politics. My favorite thing is to hear people blame their problems on legislation that often has little to do with their lives. Now, I'm not taking a side in this, in fact I personally think our entire Congress should be fired and someone should make a sistah the president. But don't go blaming EVERY problem in Healthcare on ObamaCare because Fox News tells you and remember that crazy people in countries without guns just use dirty bombs and we don't hear about it because THEY don't have a twenty-four hour news cycle. Use FACTS and not emotions if you choose to discuss these things. 

Getting riled up? Skip to step 10 :) OR just think about Daniel. 
But he kinda gets me riled up.
Ya might wanna scratch that...

Step 6: Hey asshat! Did you just say what? If so, don't open your mouth. 

Step 7: Speaking of Daniel (remember, step 5, before my asshat reminder) be diplomatic.  Like I kinda hinted in Step 1, don't just think before you open your trap but think while that trap is going. Be diplomatic. You don't have to agree with someone but you do have to respect them and their differences. Listen to their side, consider their feelings and thoughts and then offer your own. Take turns and ask questions. Yes, this was a serious step because negotiating is serious business. 

Imagine your negotiator. Naked. 
See, Daniel Jackson naked works EVERYTIME.
Dammit, I'm all riled up again. 
Better skip to 10. 

Step 8: Seriously, I have dedicated EVERY even numbered step to get you to clue in. If you're an asshat, have ever been told you are an asshat, wonder if you're an asshat, your best method of communication is to be quiet until you master the odd numbered steps. 


Step 9: Anything I can do you can't do better. Look, life is not a competition. Life is about fun and treating each other with respect. Stop making the entire basis of every conversation trying to one up me and everyone else. No one wants to talk to someone like that. It doesn't make you relatable, it makes my happy news less significant, in fact in one asshatted moment you just stomped my good news or funny comment or happy thought into the dirt. That makes you an asshat. 

Stop talking. 

Step 10: When all else fails, drink. Alcohol is truth serum, no matter what anyone says, and in my humble opinion, one can always have great conversation with a glass of wine. Or shine. Or microbrew. 

Just don't be an asshat. 
Or just serve them Aristocrat. 
And make them crash on the floor. 

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