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Students Corner – Consideration as communication skill


Skill is an ability that can be acquired through practice. And talent can be looked upon as a fast performing skill. Every individual is likely to have some natural talent in some field or so; a natural cricketer is one for whom the play of cricket is born in him and he intuitively learns the tricks of cricketing; but anyone can develop the skill in cricket by serious practice which means he gives his time and energy to the game of cricket; here also, his time and energy must be linked with a sort of awareness which is both critical and creative. Minus awareness, mere endless repetitive performance will not add to the skill of the person. 

On a similar line, consideration must blossom into a natural talent from a desired skill. What is consideration in business communication? In fact, it must be clearly understood from the beginning that business is a very important integral part of one’s living, part of the living of a business man.  Life cannot be just whole business nor business can be a whole life; they are inseparable. This is underscoring a very essential fact: no one can be totally independent and nor can be dependent but has to be inter-dependent. Total independence is an impossibility and total dependence is definite misery therefore, foolishness. A CMD of a multinational is also playing willy-nilly the role of a father, a husband, a son so on. Just to illustrate the point that none can be totally independent, both professionally and personally. It says that one cannot exercise consideration in one area of living alone; that is, you are considerate in business communication and you shed consideration in non-business activity. Rather the other way round, it is easy to understand. You are considerate to your husband, your wife and children but you are not with your ordinary stakeholder. Let us go rather in depth here.

On observation with sensitiveness, you can see that people generally are not considerate even in their personal lives, leave alone professional domain. This is only to point out that consideration is becoming a rarer and rarer experience for us. A father wants his son to fulfill his ambitions which he missed; a mother wants her children to depend on her for guidance; an elder brother tends to dominate the younger ones; exceptions may be there.

The essence of consideration is empathy; that is, putting yourself in the shoes of the other; seeing things from the other’s point of view. You may find umpteen number of justifications not to be considerate; it only means you see everything from your perspective only; that is, your direct or indirect focus is your own benefit, position, prestige, so on. This is common experience in government and corporate offices that the officer is very keen to please the officers above him and by extension wants those below him to please him. Of course, polite manners and sophisticated language might screen this tendency. The authority says in a statement: The Management is pleased to say that the employees can avail themselves of one more permission every fortnight. Of course nothing is offensive or wrong in this circular. But the same fact could be said as follows: You can take one more permission every fortnight. The difference is you are given first place and in the first sentence you are in the second place. No doubt, the management is all powerful ; the second sentence appeals to the feeling of the employee; ‘ my management respects my feelings.’

 We will see some more examples for consideration in communication.

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