How to Operate a Bloke – Part 27: Communication

“He’s a Terrible Communicator”

… or is he?

Over the last thirty years, I’ve heard a version of the above statement many times. Keeping in mind that more than seventy percent of my clients over the years have been women, this comes as no big surprise.

Well ladies, if you’ll allow me to, today I’d like to share another perspective.

It’s my contention (Your Honour), that in many cases, men are not actually “terrible communicators” but rather, different communicators. Different to you. That is, we’re blokes. The truth is we’re always communicating some kind of message but perhaps you’re not picking up what we’re putting down? A common issue in relationships (both personal and professional) is the assumption that lack of words equates to lack of communication. Well, more often than not, someone is listening when they should really be looking. The often-shared statistic is that communication is 93% non-verbal, so sometimes it’s prudent to look where the words aren’t. If the vast majority of communication is non-verbal, then perhaps being preoccupied with the 7% (or thereabouts) is not a great strategy.

Just a thought.

Like it or not, want it or not, a large percentage of men simply don’t communicate their thoughts and feelings the way their female counterparts do (no shit) and consequently they tend to get labelled emotionally inept. Or worse. And yes, based on the way (some) ladies think, process information, express feelings and connect, we may well be emotional imbeciles but then you’re not us and we’re not you.

In fact, most ‘normal’ blokes are communicating all the time; our actions, reactions, choices and typical behaviours are all messages. Clear messages. They are all saying something about something. Possibly, something profound. It’s all communication and while it may not necessarily be verbal, it will often tell you much more than our words ever could.

Just because your bloke is not gifted at (or excited by) the one-on-one, deep-and-meaningful verbal encounter, don’t assume that he’s not giving any insight into his thoughts or feelings. In fact, when you know what to look for and you’re prepared to pay attention, he’s often an open book; even when he doesn’t want to be. The truth is we all (men and women) communicate all the time; it’s impossible not to. The key is to understand the difference between talking and communicating. Sometimes they’re the same thing, but often not.

And by the way, I can articulate myself the way I do because I’m thirty percent female. 😉

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