Communication is key! It really is.
They say doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark; you know what you’re doing – but no one else does. You have to talk about it and be about it for people to know and associate you with it.
To take it out of business for a minute, let us consider what happened one sunny afternoon on 11 May in Nigeria. The airwaves suddenly started buzzing with gist that official fuel price was now a hundred and forty-five naira (N145) per liter. It was like a joke – until filling stations started changing their displays to reflect the change.
And here are the issues – apart from the most obvious ones: was an official statement released to explain why this was so? Were reasons – cogent reasons – given for the sudden increase? Was there any prior notification/warning given to the general public? What measures were put in place to reduce the effect of the increase?
Don’t worry – I know what your answers are. Mine are pretty much along the same lines.
Make no mistakes, the reason people didn’t fight or protest has little to do with their understanding of the necessity for the change and more to do with being tired of fighting. People are still very much disgruntled; more so because they have no understanding of why they’re being made to go through so much.
We frankly do not understand – and the reality that even some of our so-called leaders are just as confused/clueless as the rest of us makes the whole thing worse.
Can you imagine how much difference it would have made if the president or his vice had simply called for a press conference and informed the public about the need for the increase? What if the increase was campaigned for as vigorously as their pre-election promises? How would you feel if your phone rang and you heard: “This is your president speaking…”?
Maybe using the country’s state of things it might feel a bit far-fetched, so let me bring it closer.
You got home after work one day and you found your apartment filled with strangers. You scream and shout and start attacking only to soon find out that they’re from the local electric company to fix the problem with the switches you’ve been complaining about.
Sure you complained. And sure, it’s for the best – in your best interest actually – but a little warning would be appreciated, no?
In every sphere of life, communication matters. It is important in relationships, no matter what kind, to speak, to be heard and to be understood. Too many things can go wrong when people are left to assume whatever they want to just because the other person(s) could not be bothered to give adequate information. Opportunities have been missed because proper and detailed information wasn’t given.
In communication – passing information to other people – two things are most important: what is being said and how it is being said. No matter how important your message is, if the communication medium is not appropriate, you have wasted your time and the time of your listeners. Winston Churchill famously said: “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”You can get away with saying almost anything if you know how to present it.
In an overcrowded business like music, especially in rap, it is hard to stand out and even harder to be considered a legend. Busta Rhymes is one who is considered by many as a legend, and even though I strongly disagree (simply because he hasn’t done anything in particular to earn that label), I understand why they would call him that. Nobody sounds like Busta Rhymes on the microphone. He gets away with a lot of meaningless talk – simply because of how he says what he says.
The biggest communication problem is we no longer listen to understand. We listen to reply is one of the most powerful quotes I have come across in recent times. And while it might sound at odds with the topic here, listening is a huge part of communicating. If you don’t take the time to listen to your audience/family/fans/customers/friends/followers, how will you address their problems? It’s part of the disconnect we have with our leaders – it’s as though we live in two different worlds. They keep doing all sorts of things – but it’s making life harder for the average man. Does the government understand what the average man’s issues are? Do they listen to the average man? Are they talking to the average man – or are they talking to each other?
Do you think they in Aso Rock have any idea how bad power supply is in the rest of the country? I’m just wondering – but I’m sure you get the point. When people walk with you or work with you towards a common interest, it’s important to talk to and with them.
Be clear when you speak and listen patiently. That’s the only way to communicate.