THE TAO OF COMMUNICATION

Preparation is an art.

So much is not the essence, so little is.

The art is knowing how much you leave out

And how little you put in.

Many words mean nothing.

One word can mean everything.

Unnecessary information is a burden

For you to remember and others to forget.

If you cannot recall your own words without help

What hope for your listener?

More words mean more possibilities.

More possibilities create confusion.

Fewer words have greater strength.

Easier listening. more time to hear.

Understanding arises without pressure.

Forget talking and you will be able to listen.

Forget superiority and will gain insight.

Forget domination and you will achieve understanding.

Give up control and discover you don't need it.

Communication is a balance.

Others remember what you don't want them to.

Why is this?

They forget what is essential.

Why is this?

Confusion is easy, it takes no skill or time.

Clarity and Simplicity are much more difficult.

A simple message is understood and remembered.

Everything must be about something.

Everyone knows this.

Yet they can seldom identify what that something is.

Why is this?

It needs clarity of thinking and they are seldom clear.

It needs only one word and they have many.

If they try and identify it, it seems too complex and difficult.

If someone else identifies it, they say it is too simple.

Finding the word identifies the something.

That is both simple and difficult.

Everyone is right.

If we can hear ourselves, we assume others can too.

Yet they often do not.

Speaking out makes us noticed.

Being noticed, we are in command.

Being commanding frightens us - why?

Command means responsibility for what we say.

Standing up. Being counted.

Being silent and unnoticed has its benefits too.

Expectations create demands to perform.

This impairs performance.

The results disappoint us.

Having no expectations gives us freedom.

With no burden we give of our best

Delight follows by our unexpected success.

The best experiences are always unexpected.

So are the the worst.

If we plan too carefully we lose spontaneity.

We neither live in the experience,

Nor experience the living.

Not planning everything is exciting.

Not planning anything is foolish.

Talking needs other people's ears to listen.

Visuals need other people's eyes to look.

Commitment needs other people's hearts to decide.

Talking needs your brain to think.

Showing visuals needs coordination of your hands and eyes.

You need to react swiftly.

You need to understand what is happening.

How can you do all this?

Few people can.

Self-interest is not considered valuable.

Yet it is.

Self-interest is not recognised as universal.

Yet it is.

Only if we understand self-interest can we understand others.

Understanding others can use their self-interest for their self-interest.

Motivation is not difficult.

Neither is it easy.

It is a mystery, yet it is not.

It is difficult, yet it is easy.

We know the answer, yet seldom practice it.

How can this be?

Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

It is easy to understand, yet difficult to do.

It seems mysterious, yet it is the simplest idea.

Nothing is original. Self-interest prevails.

Saying many things once.

Anyone can do this.

It is confusing.

Saying one thing many times.

Anyone can do this.

It is tedious.

Saying one thing in many different ways.

It is difficult.

Saying one thing in a few fascinating ways.

That is an art.

The attitude received is the attitude given.

Uncertainty creates uncertainty.

To gain confidence, be clear.

To give confidence, be brief.

To generate confidence, be firm.

To gauge confidence, be watchful.

Confidence offered equals confidence received.

Most people prefer talking at length.

Talking is easy, listening is harder.

They like being seen and heard.

Not seeing and hearing.

Talking and hearing at the same time

Who can do it?

Talking briefly.

Who can do this?

Both are masterful skills to acquire.

Brevity is more useful.

Whether you are successful or not

Depends upon how you end.

Everyone knows this.

How you end depends upon how you begin.

Few are aware of this.

If you attend before the beginning

You begin correctly.

Continuing on a straight course

It is easy for others to follow.

You arrive at a clear end together.

Mutually successful.

Responses we want are seldom given,

Responses we don't want are produced easily!

Why is this?

Planning what to say is not easy.

Saying what we plan is more difficult.

Meaning what we say needs certainty.

And who is that certain?

How many responses can you have?

An infinite number, yet only three.

How can this be?

All responses are positive,

Yet one is negative!

Even the negative is positive!

If you understand its significance.

Not many do.

"Yes" is the easiest response to give.

We all want to hear this.

Yet it is the most dangerous.

Beware of 'Yes".

No one likes "No"

Yet it is encouraging.

From "No' where else can you go but 'Yes"

The middle ground is like quicksand.

It changes in a moment.

Maybe it does, perhaps it doesn't?

Are you ruled by head or heart?

Not many know this.

Those that think they do are often mistaken.

Head is clear but cruel.

Heart kind but misguided.

Balance is needed, wisdom and justice.

Who knows the meaning of communication?

Can anyone tell?

Giving generously might help discover.

Caring for others might help achieve it.

Sharing ideas and feelings.

Clarifying thoughts,

Mutually responsive agreement.

Understanding grows like trees, slowly.

Do you maintain goodwill towards others?

In spite of their opposition to your ideas?

Few people do.

Is your anger aroused as misunderstanding begins?

Does your arrogance threaten mutual solutions?

Many people act this way.

Can you remain humble and listen?

Even when people oppose you?

That takes confidence and wisdom.

Few people possess it.

Goodwill is like an oak tree.

It grows very slowly and can have great strength.

Yet an axe weilded skilfully can cut it down.

Negative attidues are that axe.

They destroy goodwill and ill-will fills the vacuum.

Beware. It is easily done.

Be on your guard.

Maintaining goodwill is not easy.

But it is wise.

Names matter they give identity.

Forget them and you forget yourself.

Are you not there?

Many people are not.

The live on the surface of life.

To swim in the depths takes courage

And hard work.

Who is prepared for such a journey?

Very few.

Look for a guide that they might help you

Discover the way.

Without boundaries

There is chaos

Without structure

There is fear

Without organisation

There is disorder

Without regulations

There is self-government.

How little we need

To order ourselves.

Can you allow others

That freedom?

Many in number are the words available.

Few in number are the words we use.

Who knows what they all mean?

Words fill time as we speak,

Yet how many are needed to say anything?

Few people know.

To say too much is easy.

Everyone can do this.

Even a small child.

Having said too much

The words cannot be taken back.

It is a waste.

For everyone.

Saying too little is harder.

But has merit.

If others need to hear more,

They will ask you.

That is more effecient.

To say just the right amount.

Even wise men find this almost impossible.

Thus erring on the side of brevity

Saves everyone time.

© LP 8.9.99

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