Communication is what the listener does. The message they hear matters more than the message you speak.
This has to be one of the most profound principles that should govern communication between two people. It is about the ability and capacity of the person listening, not about the verbosity or grandiloquence of the speaker.
Everyone is at a different level of intellect, intelligence and comprehension. Everyone oscillates at their own frequency. You have to fine-tune a radio set to clearly listen to a channel. Similarly you have to know the right details of a receiver to be able to connect and communicate. A channel broadcasted that no one can tune to is a channel that does not exist. To communicate effectively entails transcending to the intellectual level and capacity of the person on the other end and then communicate. That is why teaching to first graders is most difficult – and schools entrust that job to the most trained teachers.
If you had read my three-part series on Getting Things Done (GTD) and my implementation of it, you would know that I am a GTDer.
David Allen describes the following three stages to become a GTDer:
1. Understanding – You understand the distinct differences in the five phases of mastering workflow. You understand a project versus a next action. You know how to transform what you’ve collected by asking the key processing questions, clarifying what something is, and what you want to do about it.
2. Implementation – You have installed at least the basic gear to support a GTD system, including ubiquitous collection tools, functioning reference systems for your non-actionable information, and seamless buckets with “clean edges” for tracking your projects and next actions.
3. Behavior Change – The five phases of mastering workflow are second nature to you. You have changed the way you think and work and are achieving stress-free productivity on a regular basis. When you “fall off” you know what to do to get “back on.”
The first two stages are relatively simple. The third one is the most difficult.
On August 23rd, 1973 two machine-gun carrying criminals entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Blasting their guns, one prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson announced to the terrified bank employees “The party has just begun!” The two bank robbers held four hostages, three women and one man, for the next 131 hours. The hostages were strapped with dynamite and held in a bank vault until finally rescued on August 28th.
After their rescue, the hostages exhibited a shocking attitude considering they were threatened, abused, and feared for their lives for over five days. In their media interviews, it was clear that they supported their captors and actually feared law enforcement personnel who came to their rescue. The hostages had begun to feel the captors were actually protecting them from the police. One woman later became engaged to one of the criminals and another developed a legal defense fund to aid in their criminal defense fees. Clearly, the hostages had “bonded” emotionally with their captors.
— Dr Joseph Carver, “Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser”
This emotional attachment and protective behavior of an abused or captive person towards his captor, abuser or tormentor is known as “Stockholm Syndrome” and is coined after the 1973 Stockholm robbery incident. Though seemingly illogical and unnatural, this syndrome is common among hostages and those who are victims of abuse in a relationship. They exhibit behaviors that are protective and empathetic to those causing harm to them and ensuring to maintain the situation where they keep getting abused.