Sunday 2 May 2010

Communication maths or the little voices in my head?

Given the I see vendor claims and business proposals everyday I'm fairly used to seeing wonky maths that most certainly doesn't add up no matter how you look at it.

So naturally I was intrigued (and jolted from my commuter's daze) last week whilst listening to Chris Evans breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, during my morning 90minute drive to the office, when Father Brian D'Arcy mentioned he could prove how 1+1 = 6.

Now this kind of maths has always existed within a sales weebles commission spreadsheet, but this was Brian's simple explanation for how it may well exist in real truthful life :-
His statement was that whenever there are 2 people directly communicating, there were actually  normally 6 people involved :-
  • The person I think I am
  • The person you think I am
  • The person I actually am
  • The person you think you are
  • The person I think you are 
  • The person you really are
This struck a chord with me, having watched people (myself included) struggle with communication due to pre-conceived ideas, assumptions, not listening correctly or by trying to present an image. So it really does help me understand and explain why honest, aligned, clear, concise & open communication is so tricky (even in all groups) but also so totally vital.

Must say that I'd certainly like to believe that with spouses/partners/families we do manage to get the number to be considerably less than 6. However I think in business - both for communication between groups of individuals & groups of companies - this number is sadly regularly much greater than 6.

That all said, I don't believe in over-thinking/analysing communications, but I do think the simple memory prompt will be of help to remember when communications aren't going well...

And we all want some happy talking don't we? :)

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