Communication Warning: Train Others Carefully

caption headline 8.14.14.jpegI was dog-sitting my daughter’s new-to-her dog last weekend and realized that the ill-behaved little mutt shouldn’t be foisted on anyone she cared to keep in her social circle.

And certainly not on the person who gave her the gift of life!  He was not simply poorly trained – more like fully untrained.  Unruly.  Annoying lack of waste expelling control.

Since we were to spend 2 long days together I got out my secret weapon (hotdogs) and began the training process.  He was wildly responsive to training and quickly began the process of changing his bad behavior.

Like dogs, people also want to be good.  They just don’t know what you want of them.  And we don’t communicate our wishes due to some unwritten code that it’s rude or wrong to tell other people what we want.  Says who?

So we unconsciously train people in how to treat us – with our silence.  If they are annoying, or take advantage, or treat us without respect and we say nothing, we teach them that it’s OK to behave like that around us.  And so the bad behavior persists, without realizing why. You are your own worst enemy when you don’t exercise the control you (perhaps unknowingly) possess.

People quickly learn how to act with certain people, which can be very different with certain other people.  It’s not that everyone is treated the same by everyone else.  You train people, or rather you should train people, in the behavior you want to receive from them.  But first you must realize that you have this training power in your possession available to you.

So how do you exercise this power when communicating with others online?  How do you train them to treat you as you want?  To start, you must decide what it is that you want before you can go about trying to get it.

Most people want respect – they want their online communication not to be ignored, to receive serious consideration, to be acknowledged politely as appropriate.  Does this about sum up the behavior you are seeking with your online communication?  So how come you aren’t receiving it?

Are you training others to ignore with your persistent battering?  Are you using language that effectively says ‘this is a spammy sales pitch that you want to run far away from!’ Is your content so unnecessarily detailed, drawn out or irrelevant so as to be perceived as a time-waster?

If you recognize yourself in any of this, then you have your answer – you are inadvertently training your audience not to want your online missives.  And the resulting reaction – being ignored, deleted, or non-responsive – should not be a surprise.

Next time the topic is: brain patterns and how they interfere or help communication.  Recognizing the patterns at work is a big part of communicating well, especially online.

Comments?  Are you training or mis-training your reader?

3 comments on “Communication Warning: Train Others Carefully

  1. Excellent post, Denise. Love the story, and the lesson. You’re on the money with the very practical concept that we train people in how to treat us. (“Mea culpa” — not “coupa” is Latin for “Through my fault” — pretty appropriate to the moment, if you ask me.
    — Jim Milliken

  2. Glad this resonated for you, even if my Latin was lacking (not my best school subject) – the idea came through 🙂

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