What is the greatest strength human have? It isn't our ability to change. It isn't our ability to innovate and improve. It is in our ability to communicate. Communication is how we formed societies, governments, and armies to protect the best of our species.
Humans communicate in numerous ways beyond simply the spoken word. Most people (excluding my smart clients) ignore most forms of communication. They focus simply on the spoken or written word. HOWEVER THERE ARE MORE WAYS TO COMMUNICATE!!! Some, such as all caps, are very unnerving. Other, such as tear on a child's face convey an immediate emotional reaction.
That is why when we work with our families' long term care goals it is important to pay attention to more than simply the words being said or what is written. We need to pay attention to all the variances of those around us. Take a look at these ten ways of communication:
Ask yourself how hard is it to twist anyone of those into multiple different ways of communicating a message. For example a gift can be just simply that a gift. OR it could be a signal that someone is being taken advantage of, or a sign of rewarding good behavior. Simply put, don't just look at your initial reaction to what you are seeing.
Don't misunderstand me, I am not suggesting your family needs to sit down and talk through all their emotions; rather when families start with a common understanding of the families goal it is easier to pick up on something out of line. When you have taken the time to plan it becomes easier to communicate because you are all coming from the same place and are headed in the same direction.
It all starts with a plan, then leads to good communication, and then you reach your goal. If we can help your family start their plan please give us a call today.
Jason A. Waddell is a Board Certified Florida Elder Law Attorney who practices on the Panhandle of Florida.