February 15, 2012

Fluent speech or Communication?

Mr Kumar has two sons, Vivek, 12, and Anil, 6. Vivek stammers while Anil has normal speech. One day Anil was told in school by the teacher madam: My head means mera sir. Anil came home and repeated: My head means Madam ka sir. In the meantime, Mrs Kumar returned from market and corrected him: No, no- My head means mera sir. When she went into kitchen, Anil carried on: My head means mummy ka sir.


Few minutes later, Mr Kumar entered the house and corrected the child. Now, the child was repeating- My head means daddy ka sir. Vivek, Anil's older brother, who had been watching all this confusion for some time, approached his brother and said- LLLook here - He caught his hands, pulled it to his own head and said:
When I say, Mmmmy head- it means my, yani Vivek ka sir....
And when- now he put Anil's hand on his own head- you say, mmmmy head, it means your- Anil ka sir. Right?

Then, he made him touch both heads alternately and say: This is your head, this is my head.. Tera sir, mera sir. Then, they played a game: teri nak, meri nak, touching each others nose etc. In a few minutes Anil had understood the meaning of "My head" and the concept of reflexive pronouns.

Moral of the story: other three persons (father, mother, teacher) were normal speakers and focused on speaking alone. Vivek was a stammerer who stammered but managed to convey the meaning. Whom would you, as a pws, like to have as a role model, if you could not be both at the same time?

So, others were good speakers and Vivek was a good communicator. This is the difference in speaking well (fluency) and communicating well. This is why TISA emphasizes Communication over fluency. Speaking is the mechanical act- communicating is the spirit, Aatma behind it. While mechanics is necessary, communication is much MORE important.

Speaking without communicating the meaning as above, is worse than stammering - because stammering cant be helped, it is involuntary, while good communication can be learned and practiced by anyone and everyone. Stammering is un-intentional, but under-communication is often intentional. Many normal speakers dont really want to communicate because deep down, they feel- If information is power, why should I share it? Have you heard such comments: He spoke well for an hour but said little...?

There are others who dont communicate due to other psychological reasons. Have you met such conversational partners, who talk non-stop about their own possessions, cars, gadgets, achievements, connections, last holiday etc. etc. and have little interest in you? Can this be called good communication? Would you like to spend an evening with them?:-(

So, as a pws, you want to be fluent- which is natural and fine. Your fluency does improve, when you learn to be comfortable with your audience, act of speaking and the content through Acceptance and good preparation. But if you forget the real purpose of opening your mouth (which is conveying MEANING), you defeat yourself.

BTW, this post was inspired by a query from Amit, Mumbai on phone, few days back. Thanks Amit!

6 comments:

J P Sunda said...

Sachin sir, you are superb storyteller! Just love the way you use stories to convey message.

lalit said...

nice sir...i can understand this very well because yesterday i spend 2 hour with i guy who have problem with communication but he was fluent speaker. he was talking continuously about his lover,about his living etc etc..it was soo bad experience that i took more then 3 hour to revive my self.......

Anupinder Singh said...

sachin sir this is the very good example and can inspire many pws like me...:)

sachin said...

Thanks JP, Lalit and Anupinder-
Life itself is a STORY, with a beginning, middle and conclusion..and with a huge MESSAGE..
Thanks for appreciation..

Mohit Jaiswal said...

there is always a thing which we can learn from Sachin Sir, this is because of his ability to make those small things go right and collectively creating a wonder....
SuperLike.... :) :)

Harish Usgaonker said...

Wow... this was the best and easiest way to explain what good communication means...

I loved this post, and the way it uses the story to convey the message... This post in itself is a very good example of the message it tries to convey... :)