Sunday, 27 September 2009

Join Up the Dots

1: A couple of days ago I was chatting away to somebody at work and I asked them a simple question: Do I make sense? By that, am I coherent enough that you can understand what I'm saying. Her answer? Well it came as no surprise. "More often than not, yes I do understand you - but only through the process of joining up the dots".

7: Why not?

9: ...bouncing ideas back and forth, is far from the linear progression they expect.

2: You see, I have a bad habit of starting a conversation about one thing (say, subject A) and before I've finished talking about this thing, it's on to something else entirely (subject B).

6: Not only that, but at the same time they want to understand - but can't.

15: Don't just throw a whole bunch of information at a person, and expect them to pick up on it straight away. Because they can't - their brains just can't register it all.

13: If I worry that people don't understand me, perhaps this is why.

8: Well, because they follow the idea of linear progression in conversation - and me doing this, juggling God-knows how many conversations at once...

3: I might not return to Subject A for a while; instead I'll carry the conversation on - by talking about Subject B, or maybe introducing another topic on top of that.

12: Before somebody has a chance to register whatever the Hell it is I'm banging on about, off I go again, exploring another idea entirely.

5: By that, I mean they're trying to catch up to the point where my mind is at.

10: It's why when I'm talking to my managers at work they just look at me and smile when I talk...

14: I need to slow down, and actually think about what I'm saying. Try not to confuse my listener - and try to follow the conversation through in some sort of order.

4: The conversation fragments, and with no signpost whatsoever the listener is thrown a curveball - and expected to catch it.

16: *If* I can do all that, maybe - just maybe - I stand a chance of being a conversational wizard, by having people understand and appreciate exactly what I'm saying.

11: ...because secretly they have no idea what I'm muttering on about. They can't keep up. Nobody can - because my brain is moving too fast; throwing too many ideas and suggestions at people at once.

17: After all, that's all I want - to be understood.
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