Read time: 2 min 44 seconds / Words: 548

Are you communicating or talking?

Profile picture of Author Carlo Mahfouz
Carlo Mahfouz | Dec 03, 2023

For communication to happen, you need to start communicating. (Share on Twitter)

Mind-boggling, I know. And it sounds incredibly banal and common sense, I know. Yet trust me when I say 90% of the time, we want to communicate, but we are not communicating. And that’s because we often mistake communication for talking and speaking. And in reality, it is not either.

Gossiping and preaching is talking.
Accusing and blaming is talking.
Defending and deflecting is talking.

Yet none of the latter is communicating. For communication to happen, there needs to be a level of understanding — an exchange.

And more often than not, the exchange happens with almost zero talking involved. Instead:

In silence, we communicate.
In action, we communicate.
In listening, we communicate.

And none of the latter requires speaking. Now, do not get me wrong, talking under specific conditions could work, yet it is the least effective because many can’t get it right.

So before you dive in and open the gates of your mouth to blabber in an attempt to communicate, instead pause and be silent, listen, or act, and as a last resort, speak. Your rate of success in achieving communication will be way higher.

Are you communicating or talking?

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A Poem: Of … by Carlo Mahfouz

The only moment seemly in control
is that of the full senses,
blaming the thought
crucifying the soul
for the lack of control
it deemed to seek in the first place.

Betrayed and berated by the sense of being
in the divergence of seeing
the truth evading the most precious of all;
our affinity to hold dear those close
in what could be love, care, or a sharp knife twisted
in the midst of …

Whatever of … is,
it lacks and holds this immense power
to leave one in agony and pain
strained to a thin silver line of pristine nonsense
that leaves no bodies alive in its wake
daring to call itself merciful.

Be well, be carefree,
or lost in the ocean of thee
remains, in truth, a story that escapes the breath
on its last sigh to regain a smidge of hope
to leave and never come back …

May it be in control and out of its mind
in crazy town calling for a reprieve
nothing ends where it starts
or dares to call itself a lesson
foretold in the abbeys of the long-forgotten song of life
dancing on the foothills of hope’s dreams
and most of all a shred of happiness prolonged.

When expression lacks presence
and in its glory, a morning sunset
on the window of an eternity boiling
in the brittle waters of a condescending note,
the bearer gripes and shrugs in walking down the road,
hands flailing or tucked in a closed posture
hammering the ground with every step
as if the weight of an elephant is bearing every move,
the song starts dwindling, losing its control
and in the step regaining, its’ hold lost,
out of whatever of… was.

Read the full poem

& one resource: How to speak so that people want to listen

One of my favorite TED talks which was an influential point in my life. Julian Treasure's speaking on voice and the power of this toolbox got me into singing, and his talk still resonates with me till today. Jump to 4:10 if you’d like to skip to learning about your voice and some exercise you can do before every important conversation you need to have.

Duration: 9 min 45 sec. Give it a listen here

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