Tuesday 29 January 2013

Checking behind the curtain of words.

If you focus on words, that's all you get. As any body language analyst will tell you, words are a very small percentage of communication. Analyse the curtain, play with the curtain, do what you want with it, the curtain is what you'll get until you open it.

Here in Africa, there's sunshine. There's a lot of it, and the temperature goes up, where I live, over 40C, sometimes over 50C.

One of my favourite stories is a true one about the business on the hill on the other side of the dam who called the aircon people to say that the aircon wasn't working, so please come fix it now as the temperature is up there in the forties somewhere. The aircon people came, took a look and said your aircon is working fine, what more do you expect it to do? It can only bring the tmerpature down reasonably by 20C and you're siting at 31C so be satisfied. It's working as well as it ever will.

"Children are dumb to say..."

I'm glad that the web of language is cool, if the metaphor for reality is heat. Yet no matter what you do with language, you have to be strategically wrong if you pick a fight with anyone about their words. I pick fights about tone, intent, meaning and I lose all those too, because that's still at the level of language. I've learnt that when I go silent, that's when others go silent too, because they're trying to work out what's going on.

Open the curtain and say nothing. Another one might draw the curtain and say nothing. But everyone will know.

The light might be sunshine or a fire over at the Frankenstein's place, yet the curtain will have been dealt with.

I recommend: listen to words well, and listen even more to where they're coming from. There are no secrets.

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