INDIANAPOLIS – Communication is one of the most important aspects of our daily lives, but one we sometimes don’t give much thought to. Chances are, you communicate every day, unless you’re spending time in an uninhabited portion of Antarctica.
But communicating and communicating well are two different things. I’ve spent the past several days at the Confab Higher Ed(ucation) conference. The conference was held at the Westin in downtown Indianapolis. Communication was a hot topic, though the word wasn’t used much in presentations or conversations at the conference.
At the conference, higher ed professionals learned about tools that may help them communicate more effectively with students, potential students, stakeholders within their organizations, and others. I am leaving Indianapolis with a bit more pep in my step as I look forward to implementing at least a few of the tools I learned about. These tools all boil down to enhancing communication with others, which involves listening, empathy, and implementing strategy and goals through persuasion and data sharing.
Communication is so important, we go to conferences to learn how to do it better. At weather conferences I’ve attended, the focus was essentially the same–how to effectively communicate weather information (especially dangerous weather) to as many people as possible. Without effective communication, a university may fail in its efforts to attract new students, or people may fail to take shelter from a tornado.
In our personal relationships, communication is a biggie. We have arguments with each other, show up at the wrong place at the wrong time, or make uninformed assumptions if we fail to communicate well. Communication is key.
My background is largely in communication. My diploma says so! But that doesn’t mean I’m an expert at what’s–at times–a difficult and more challenging activity than we often give it credit for. Try to think carefully about what you’re communicating over the next few days. You may realize you don’t come across to others as clear as you thought you were!