Is Your Communication Unknowingly Violent?

Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti once remarked that observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence. Hmm, what does that mean? Well, it’s easy for us to say, “Tom procrastinates,” instead of, “Tom often misses his work deadlines.” One is evaluation, the other one is an observation. “Barb is a bad salesperson,” is very different than, “Barb hasn’t had more than three sales since the beginning of the year.” Or, “You never do what I want,” versus, “The last three times I asked you to join me, you declined.”

When we collapse distinctions, we begin to get upset about things that are not worth being upset about. We begin to lose perspective on what really matters. We hurt people with our words. It’s one of the violent communications listed in the book “Nonviolent Communications”, and one of the ways that we hurt people with the best of intentions in our hearts. And yet, the result is the same regardless. And so, think today about not collapsing distinctions, but instead simply listing observations, as opposed to making your evaluations based upon those observations.

2 Responses to “Is Your Communication Unknowingly Violent?”

  1. John Klassen says:

    I really liked this one. I can be a bit direct in my communication, but I need to be more aware of the reception it receives.

  2. D A Sutton says:

    Great message, both professionally and personally when interacting with others. I must think before I speak and consider how my message my be landing on others.

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