My wife recently gave birth to our second child, a baby girl born in May. What a blessing… we are grateful every single day to have our new little one with us. Over the course of the last two months, I’ve been thinking a lot (obviously) about family, and when you spend time every day with a young child, you tend to slow down a bit from every day life and notice some things you might normally miss… or might normally take for granted.
I have spent hours sitting with our daughter, looking at her, talking to her, getting to know her. And I realized that newborns can teach us a lot. Our daughter is a great communicator. All newborns are. They keep things really simple for you. They care about three things: food, clean diapers, and sleep. And when they are not getting enough of any of those, they let you know — loudly and directly. If they are sick or don’t feel well, they let you know that also. There is no nuance. You don’t have to parse their words, or try to interpret their body language. There is no reading between the lines. They need something, one of the “big three” of food, diaper or sleep, and they just let you know.
But then as newborns start to grow up, their communication gets more complicated. It happens with all of us. We learn how to communicate (or not) in so many other ways. We learn how to use new words, facial expression, intonation, body language, silence, all to communicate in different ways. All of those new things can be magical additions to our communication. But they also can complicate things. We start out life being able to communicate things simply and directly. And then over time we learn more and more ways to make things harder, to make it more difficult for our audience to read what it is exactly that we want.
The point here today is that while my colleagues and I at The Latimer Group love to fill up your tool box with techniques and skill development, we also want to remind you to keep things simple whenever possible. Avoid nuance whenever you can. Make life easier for the people around you by being a simple and clear and direct communicator.
Be that person who makes life easier. There are so many other things in life that make life harder.
Have a great day!