“Communication is a science, not an art”, said my son. “Why not art?”, I inquired. Without a blink, he responded, “Because art should be beautiful and meaningful.”
The words uttered by a 13-year-old boy on a casual Tuesday afternoon started a deep conversation on how we communicate and why is so important to learn how to. All of this was sparked by a book I’m reading, “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating” by Alan Alda. (I know, a long title, worth saying it and reading the book by the way).
He is correct, art should be beautiful. Beauty is subjective. It is a personal perception. But to learn to create something beautiful and for it to strike a positive impact on someone is an art.
I remember in school learning about communication, a receptor and a transmitter, the channel, the code and the message. Basic. What we were not taught, or perhaps I did not pay attention then, was how to “really” communicate. Not just convey a message but to understand what is being said.
Yes, we understand what is being said. But, are we really or we already have it assumed on our minds what the other person is trying to say?
As our conversation continued, and we went back and forth, we felt connected.
What Look Do You Have on Your Face?
In his book, Alan Alda identifies empathy and learning to understand the other person’s thinking as the keys to a good communication. I have to agree. Having empathy, not only while we communicate but in everything we do, opens the door to a happy and fulfilling life.
While I have only read 1/4 of it, the book has already influenced me in a positive way. The look on my face is going to be of caring. Because I care about the people I talk to, I am not only going to listen with my ears but with my heart as well. Communication is not only of speaking is also listening. Sometimes, no words need to be spoken.
Today, communication proved to be an art and a science. Mr. Alda gave us a topic to bond about.
For a brief period of time, we spoke not imposing our point of views, but understanding each other side… we created art. We dance a beautiful waltz of words. We talked without constraint. Even more, free of judgment. Respecting thoughts, not age. For a moment, a mother and a son were equals.
How do you communicate? Do you really listen to what others are saying? This is an engrossing topic, especially for the relevance it has on our, every day, life. Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear what you have to say about it.
Buy the book: