The ability to communicate clearly can be as important as breathing. OK, maybe not that important.

The ability to communicate clearly can be as important as breathing.


OK, maybe not that important.


Let’s just say the ability to communicate clearly is, you know, really, really important.


For if you can’t communicate, then others are going to have difficulty understanding you.


This can have a deleterious effect on your personal life, as well as your career.


Let’s examine a scenario in which a lack of communication skills may have a negative impact on your personal life. In this totally fictional scenario a communication-challenged father reminds his son that he’s doing the laundry.


DAY 1


Father: I’ve got to do the laundry. Could you bring your laundry down?


Son: OK.


 


DAY 2


Father: I’ve got to do the laundry. Did you bring your laundry down yet? No? Well, could your bring it down?


Son: OK.


 


DAY 3:


Father: I’ve got to do the laundry. I don’t see your laundry. Have you brought it down yet? No? Well, could you? I really need to do it.


Son: OK.


 


The father’s inability to communicate is evident. Let’s move on to a job environment in which a communication-challenged, middle manager seeks input from a person in his or her employ in a scene that is once again entirely fanciful.


DAY 1


Middle manager: I’ve got to file those reports. Could you provide the information I need that we discussed at length?


Employee: OK.


 


DAY 2


Middle manager: I’ve got to file those reports. Did you provide the information I requested that we discussed at length. No? Well, can you provide the information?


Employee: OK.


 


DAY 3


Middle manager: I’ve still got to file those reports. Have you provided that information yet, you know, the information we discussed at length? No? Well, can you? I really need to do this.


Employee: OK.


 


Once again, we witness an individual’s inability to communicate. And finally, there’s this person who’s so maladroit in communication skills, he has trouble picking up on his own internal monologue. This is, once again, not meant to resemble any persons, living or dead.


DAY 1


Guy: I’ve got to do something about cleaning the gutters. There’s plant life growing in them.


Same guy: OK.


 


DAY 2


Guy: I’ve got to get those doggone gutters cleaned. There are trees growing in them.


Same guy: OK.


 


DAY 3


Guy: Remember to get the gutters cleaned! There are birds nesting in the trees growing in them.


Same guy: OK.


 


Maybe the ability to communicate is as important as breathing.


 


Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth, Mass., office, and can be reached at fmulligan@wickedlocal.com.