Listen Analyze Decide
This is the process we must all go through when we listen to people. When you are talking with your significant other and you ask, “What are we doing for dinner?” And the answer is “What do you want to do for dinner?” You didn’t get an answer, you got another question. That’s acceptable in a relationship, but it doesn’t get you to dinner.
When you ask a candidate what their position is on creating new taxes and their response is “Taxes are a necessary evil to make the government run properly.” You didn’t get an answer you got some weasel words. If the person who asked that question followed up with more of the same and you continued to get some weasel words instead of a clear direct answer then your analysis of that candidate is that this individual is incapable of answering a direct question and should not be your choice on Election Day. You decide to go someplace else to find some one to vote for.
Listening skills are some of the weakest skills we have in this country today. Words mean things and missing words mean even more. Anytime someone used a long worded answer to a question, they’re avoiding the question. Communication is a two way street. The communicator attempts to share information with the communicated. The obligation to get the information out rests with the communicator. Should the communicator want to mislead the communicated then the communicator uses a lot of words that sound pretty and important but don’t get to the point.
Intelligent communicators use very few words and keep them simple. A great example of simple, elegant, and powerful communication is Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. It was very short and very powerful. He was communicating what he wanted to say using simple words and it was very effective. Almost all of Mark Twain’s writings are still popular today because he was writing for the average man in simple easy words trying to get a point across.
Politicians today use a lot of words to say nothing hoping to make us believe that they’re doing something important. The only things they accomplish with all those words are insulting the intelligence of those of us who listen and comprehend. The problem is that far too many of us don’t listen and comprehend. They continue to use too many words to say nothing because as voters we let them get away with it. A candidate stands in front of us and demonstrates their skills in Bull Shit and Poetry and we vote for them. The moving lips of an elected official should become the international symbol of a lying weasel.
The press was supposed to serve as the eyes and ears of the general public, forcing the politicians to be fair and honest. Some do, but too many don’t. They’re not consistent at challenging the politician’s answers to a lot of questions. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. That serves to embolden the communicators to be less than direct and less than accountable to the public. The press doesn’t do their job well or consistently and the voters are not listening carefully enough. The communicators are not held to a high enough standard and they get away with not communicating effectively.
We must all listen and understand what we listen to. As voters we have to know what we want, and when we don’t hear what we want we have to not vote for the person. We need honorable men and women who will answer questions with simple direct answers and when they get into office, do what they said they would do.
Communicate effectively to us and then when we vote for you do what you told us you would do. Honest effective communicators, what a concept.