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Miscommunication may lead to conflict, or aggravate conflict that already exists.We make -- whether it is clear to us or not -- quite different meaning of the world, our places in it, and our relationships with others.Our weeks were punctuated by an endless set of doctor appointments and early intervention therapy as we fumbled our way through a strange new world.
Communication is interactive, so an important influence on its effectiveness is our relationship with others. Do their responses show that they understand the words and the meanings behind the words we have chosen? The answers to these questions will give us some clues about the effectiveness of our communication and the ease with which we may be able to move through conflict.
Do they hear and understand what we are trying to say? The challenge is that even with all the good will in the world, miscommunication is likely to happen, especially when there are significant cultural differences between communicators.
A good place to look to understand the Eastern idea of time is India.
There, time is seen as moving endlessly through various cycles, becoming and vanishing.
Consider this description of an aeon, the unit of time which elapses between the origin and destruction of a world system: "Suppose there is a mountain, of very hard rock, much bigger than the Himalayas; and suppose that a man, with a piece of the very finest cloth of Benares, once every century should touch that mountain ever so slightly -- then the time it would take him to wear away the entire mountain would be about the time of an Aeon." Differences over time can play out in painful and dramatic ways in negotiation or conflict-resolution processes.
An example of differences over time comes from a negotiation process related to a land claim that took place in Canada.A light wind keeps the smoke heading out towards the water and the bugs away. Ten more." He shakes his thumb in the ASL for "ten" as he also vocalizes the number. " he demands verbally, holding up four fingers then signing more by bringing the tips of his fingers together from both hands. Since very early in his life, music has been a key for both of us. I sing, "Pour me some whiskey, I'll sing you a song / And no one is drinking alone," as he gets ready to stamp his foot in time with "When we say good night," punctuating the last three words with three stomps.By Michelle Le Baron July 2003 All communication is cultural -- it draws on ways we have learned to speak and give nonverbal messages.We do not always communicate the same way from day to day, since factors like context, individual personality, and mood interact with the variety of cultural influences we have internalized that influence our choices. Are there differences that relate to ineffective communication, divergent goals or interests, or fundamentally different ways of seeing the world?Novinger calls the United States a "chronocracy," in which there is such reverence for efficiency and the success of economic endeavors that the expression "time is money" is frequently heard. This approach to time is called monochronic -- it is an approach that favors linear structure and focus on one event or interaction at a time.Robert's Rules of Order, observed in many Western meetings, enforce a monochronic idea of time.Time stretches far beyond the human ego or lifetime.There is a certain timeless quality to time, an aesthetic almost too intricate and vast for the human mind to comprehend.We were splitting childcare as my wife went to school half-time and worked half-time, while I was chasing tenure full-time as a history professor.It would be years before we could afford childcare, so we made it work by using my flexible schedule while slowing down her pathway to graduation, relying on a patchwork of baby sitters and shuttling back and forth in our old Subaru.