“When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”
“If I have told you once i have told you a thousand times … “ … what kid hasn’t heard this from an adult.
And what do the kids hear?
If I’ve told you once, I <might as well> have told you a thousand times <for all the good it did>.
How many times have adults heard a different version of this from a boss in the workplace?
This is almost a perfect symbol of the failure of our culture. Huh? I am not sure but it seems culturally we have completely forgotten that a lack of desired response is more often a derivative of the stimulus provided rather than some ineptitude on the part of the responder/listener.
In other words … it is more likely you said or did the wrong thing to get the response you actually desired.
In today’s world we seem to immediately default to “oh, they just don’t get it.”
Well … let me tell ya … most of us can ‘get it’ if we would just get a fucking semi-articulate stimulus.
I got this whole stimulus/response pounded into my head working at one of the world’s largest advertising agencies which most likely knew more about effective communications, and how to smartly teach how to effectively communicate, in the world <J. Walter Thompson>.
From day one you got stimulus response pounded into your head.
Develop a stimulus with a specific response in mind.
If you don’t see the desired response, review your stimulus to see how you could have better, more effectively, communicated it.
I had this pounded into my head so much I now have a mildly aggravating habit <not aggravating to me … mostly aggravating to others … therefore mild> of constantly stepping back in after I say something and listening closely to a response and saying something like … “my fault, I don’t think I articulated what I meant to say well … what I should have said is …”
When I do that, no. I am not calling the other person an idiot – that is not my intent. The foundation of all my communicating is always stimulus response.
My response is also a reflection of a fact that most times I say something, and I hear myself say it, and I listen to how it is received … I honestly think I could have said it better <offered a better stimulus> and then seek a path to communicating it better.
In my mind it is more about fixing the environment of the flower does not grow.
In my mind it is if I feel like saying “if I have told you once I have told you a thousandth time” I have a problem … not the person I am speaking with.
In my mind if someone doesn’t try articulating a new stimulus if they don’t get the desired response <or a meaningful response> what they can only expect is … well … evils <something bad>. Because bad has a nasty habit of filling unused space.
“He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.”
Repeated mistakes are a pain in the ass.
But it seems like far too often everyday people, in today’s world, suggest a Reptilian response <instinctual> is the ‘common sense’ response to everything. And, as so often true, there is a big grain of truth within that thought. The trouble is that while stimulus response is a linear truth <in a brain way> … in the real world cause and effect is not always linear … and, yet, is still true.
To be clear.
There is a time & a place for reflexive Reptilian behavior … but you cannot, and should not, live your Life that way 100% and should certainly not live your life that way when dealing in communications. Effective communications is rarely checkers but closer to a non-expert version of chess.
“Simplicity is the final achievement.
After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
That sounds complicated … too complicated. Especially when everyone around you is whispering “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity … things are simpler than we make it out to be” in your ear.
I sometimes think we get confused when we discuss simplicity. For simplicity is not actually in the stimulus … in the delivery … but rather in the response.
That doesn’t mean a ‘simple’ stimulus is unable to generate a simple response.
In fact … it may more often than not.
Simple stimuli are just as likely to confuse. Provide ambiguity. Generate a feeling of ‘less than’ in terms of what I may need to know to understand and make a choice/decision.
So when someone says ‘show a picture’ or ‘say it in 5 seconds or you lose them’ and be done with it … I just don’t think it is that simple.
That is simply looking at it from a stimulus point of view. Now. That’s not a bad place to start … but it is a means to an end. Far too often we look at that as the answer when the reality is simplicity can be delivered in so many ways your head will spin.
Why does all this shit I am saying matter?
Because saying “if I have told you once if I haven’t told you a thousand times” <or even think it> will not change thinking, attitudes or behavior one eentsy teensy bit. You will fail to gain even close to the response you want … now, tomorrow and the day after.
What I am talking about, in my mind, matters.
I am not suggesting everyone become masters of communication but I do believe we need to pay attention to the aspects of what makes for effective communication.
Why? Think about the prize.
- decrease ignorance.
Or maybe I should suggest calling the thought an anti-ignorance initiative because this affects both the speaker and the responder. At its most basic level it is fighting intolerance, to ideas, through communication. In my infamous “stimulus – response” thinking I would imagine a response from thinking this way would be enhanced understanding.
The intent of this idea I have is we all benefit to understand the belief system choice and decision making process of anyone and through an enlightened stimulus/response communications model it inevitably empowers people by creating <improving> enough basic knowledge and critical thinking knowledge that people can better move forward in life and ‘make choices.’
My thought always seems to center on cultivating thinking attitudes leading to actual behavior and belief systems as an outcome.
The prize is appealing, for society an culture, but in many ways it goes against what we’re trained to do and runs slightly counter to what we think of with regard to communication.
Most of us think we are clear and articulate with our thoughts and that the receiver, assuming we don’t get the response we desire, is at fault.
“If I have told you once i have told you a thousand times … “
One would point out to the speaker of, what I would call, this symbol of failed direction that if you have had to say it 1000 times and are saying it one more time <1> are you not tired of saying it and <2> have you thought that maybe it will not work the 1001th time … just like it didn’t seem to have an impact the 100 times before?
Just think about I. Think about stimulus response. And please do so because I don’t want to tell you a thousand times.