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Team Huddle, Nigeria 12.2014

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

How often do we get stuck & create problems for ourselves because we cannot communicate effectively?

Maybe it is because of language barriers or our upbringing or our culture or simply our personality.

I often get stuck & create problems for myself because effective communication is hard.

This happens to me with Ball Project partners, organizations & teams I work with. It is painful to be a part of & to witness.

It is a struggle to be understood. It is a struggle to understand. But these are good & necessary struggles.

No one is perfect at communicating. Everyone can improve. Slow & easy wins the race in this case. Sometimes even incremental progress in effective communication can make a giant improvement in the quality of a relationship & life.

I, obviously, am no expert at communicating. But I am working on it.

Here are a couple things I try to keep in mind so that I can communicate effectively:
BE KIND
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato
“Kind words can be short & easy to speak, but their echoes can be truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
Love without truth lies; truth without love kills.

Watch your tone. Don’t be harsh or curt.
ACTIVELY LISTEN
“We have two ears & one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus
Looking at a speaker is a powerful way to help you listen & let the speaker feel heard.
Listening is a lost art & honestly the better half of communicating.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli is a great quick read on how to have better meetings & better communication in your organization/team/family.

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I have a week of meetings with lots of Ball Project partners from around the world.

Partnerships are just doing something together that comes out of relationships plus trust.

Relationships are based on length of time knowing someone plus shared experiences plus communication. Relationships = Time + Experiences + Communication (at least that is how I think about it).

Face to face time is always incredibly helpful to continue working & communicating effectively together.

I can’t work with someone I don’t trust.

It is hard to work over a long distance & long time period if you can’t effectively communicate with them.

So I am always grateful for face to face time either hosting partners where I live or visiting them where they live or even meeting someplace in-between. I like to see where people live & work & know their friends & family. I like for people to see where I live & work & know my friends & family. Those kind of shared experiences build trust & understanding which allows for better communication & stronger relationships & ultimately better partnerships.

& if we have better partnerships then ultimately we get more done, which in this case means that we help children by helping children play.

Help children play

“Give me a ball and I’ll have a thousand kids chasing after it.” –Solomon, Kenya

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