Actions trump all other forms of communication
Communication is comprised of multiple components, including words, tone, inflection, diction, pronunciation, body language, gestures, micro-expressions and more. However, nothing communicates more effectively than actions.
It does not matter what a person says, if their actions do not line up, every other expression is rendered null and void. Nothing is more telling than one’s actions.
As the receiver of communication, it helps to interpret what is truly being expressed when we tune in and read body language, micro-expressions, word choices, tone of voice, etc. However, if we misinterpret all of these indicators, observing the sender’s actions will tell you everything you need to know.
One would think the ability to read actions is easy, however, people are often blinded to what is blatantly observable when they are romanced with the right words and diversions. For example, the abused woman will allow herself to be deceived when her abusive partner swears he loves her and attributes the intensity of his love as the reason for his cruelty. In many cases, she wants to believe his words so badly she ignores every other form of communication. She does not make the connection that the reason for his jealousy has nothing to do with her, but is all about him, his ego and his personal insecurities. He will promise to never hit her again. However, when he breaks that promise, he blames her or something else, but never takes responsibility for his actions.
On Election Day, when we go to the polls, forget the rhetoric, the promises and the declarations of love for the people. Read the actions. The abused woman gets sucked back in when her abuser brings her flowers or buys her an expensive gift to redirect her attention from his brutality.
Will we, as the voting public allow ourselves to be distracted by a gift, a contract, free food and liquor during an election season, and dismiss the actions over the last five years? Everything communicates, including an omitted action, which is an action.
What action was taken to get crime under control on a tiny island with a population of 300,000 after basing an entire campaign on the promise? What was the action that demonstrated concern for the constituents after oil poisoned the water table? How did actions align with the handling of the people’s money? Did the actions regarding the public purse demonstrate accountability? Were the promises for jobs backed up by action to create opportunity? Were your representative’s actions focused on helping you or themselves? When unethical practices were uncovered, what was the action taken? The people went to the polls to express their wishes regarding gambling, and what did the government’s action convey?
Communication is deciphered based on the perspective of the receiver. Few of us search for truth; we typically look for evidence to support what we already believe. It is up to each registered voter to align the actions with the words. May your vote be based on the clear communication that has been demonstrated through action. Here’s to a peaceful Election Day.
• Kim Welcome is the CEO of Influential Voice. A communication trainer and coach, she assists businesses and professionals to achieve their goals by helping them to develop deliberate, skillful, polished communication skills. Contact: [email protected] or call 242-225-9013.