Here’s another insight from my time along the American Tobacco Trail, the 23-mile walking, jogging, & riding path that slices through the area near our North Carolina home.
Well, sort of…
Moving much faster than those of us who are walking or running, bicyclists are supposed to call out and slow down when passing. The common phrase is, “On your left!”
Rather than calling out, some choose to ring a bike bell to signal their approach.
I’m often lost in thought along my way, and not necessarily hugging the trail’s edge. Since the cyclists come up quickly from behind, whether with bell or words, I appreciate their warning.
Depending upon how ‘deep’ in thought I happen to be, I either reply with a verbal, “Thank you,” or raise my left index finger in acknowledgement.
On the trail, most people participate in these ‘traditions’. The routines keep things safe. They demonstrate respect.
It’s intriguing that ringing a bell and raising a finger can complete the same communication as, “On your left!” and “Thank you!”
Intriguing, but not surprising. In truth, gestures might even be better, because less than 10% of what you and I communicate ‘face-to-face’ comes from the words spewing out of our mouths.
Body movements, posture and positioning, intonation (the WAY we say it), eye contact, facial expressions, and so forth.
Good to remember, and…interesting.
For one, the exact same words can offer a completely different message:
Second, you can say one thing while your gestures show something quite different…
As we’re now figuring out the ‘going back to work thing’, and you’re possibly ‘responsible’ for those returning to work, this is essential to remember. Even more so when you’re ‘in charge’ of people leaving their homes and coming in.
And if communications weren’t already tough enough, now you’ve gotta deal with this…
This is just one small piece of putting things together as you move forward.
And while it’s all incredibly overwhelming, it’s more important than ever that you pay LOTS of attention!
With everything going on, effective communications are critical.
And as you work on sorting things out, remember- we’re here for you.
Until next time my friend, be well and stay safe.