George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Why is it so hard to communicate? In my 23 years in the public school system, I’ve found the biggest broken lines of communication are those between administration and staff. But why is that? Is it due to:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of reproach
- Fear of authority
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of engagement
- Lack of accountability
The list could go on and on. I have witnessed people throwing a hissy fit due to something that could have been helped with just a simple phrase or two of communication.
I am ranting a bit because I have been place in the middle…again. A colleague asked me to talk to the principal instead of going there herself. I gently put the ball back in her court, but I really wanted to shout it from the rooftops that it’s simple math…THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS IS A STRAIGHT LINE! If you have a question or concern in this particular line of work, go directly to the person it involves. While this may be uncomfortable, there’s no sense putting it off. However, here’s the kicker…(yes, I have another quote for you)
The great Ernest Hemingway once said, “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
Conversations are a 2-way street. If you want to discuss something with a colleague or an administrator, don’t forget to listen. (This one is hard for me, too. I’m a work-in-progress.)
Sooooo, what does this have to do with library work? Everything and nothing. Books are a wonderful tool for communication. However, sometimes we need to put the book down and go for it. Don’t ask someone else to communicate for you. Here’s one more quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” Amen.
Currently reading: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas