Sunday, 14 February 2010

Lexis – protector of men ?

“Lexis” (“words”) derived from Alexandros, the Greek name meaning “protector of men”. Words do protect and hurt. We, of all other animals, have this mental faculty: the power of communication, the power of language. Thanks to this value we’ve been granted the title of homo sapiens. We appreciate beauty and aesthetics, we have a strong desire for self-expression through art, literature and music, we want to understand and influence the environment.
However, we are not always wise enough to understand the man next to us. And we don’t notice that miscommunication sometimes happens because of physical barriers. Look around at work, or at home, in the street or in class. There are lots of things that hinder effective communication between people, irrespective of how articulate and good communicator you are. Lexis can’t protect.
You are a parent and your five years old won’t listen to you? Don’t start a dialogue before you have limited or
removed everything that can cause distractions or breaks your child’s concentration; background noises like radio/TV/computer games, ringing phones, poor lighting, too hot or too cold temperature. Have you ever thought of that? Seating in a comfortable armchair, on a sofa is sometimes the key to effective communication. Do you expect to build good communication habits with your child/student when you yell to each other from different rooms?
This is also true in an office building. Information and messages can be misunderstood if these barriers are not cleared away. Want to minimize misunderstanding? Identify the barriers that can block communication: shape of desks, cubicles, doors, being located on different floors, talking in crowded places, yelling down the corridors etc.
When conveying messages you give or expect help, you share an attitude as a way of bonding with someone. For this, linguistic knowledge is required. That’s what we know. What we forget is that conventional communication is first gestural and then vocal. A glance, the tone of voice can have the same effect as complex grammar structures. These little things will help you bring people along with you. And this is all that matters.
For words to protect you, sometimes you have to look beyond them!