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Why Flexibility is Critical to Effective Communication

In discussions regarding a political hearing, people were expressing frustration at how the whole thing was "a farce," "a waste of time," "disappointing," etc. That is frequently the case when communication doesn't result in the desired outcome. And while that can be frustrating, there are things we can do for more effective communication and to change the outcome. One of the biggest is having flexibility.

It's been said that the system with the greatest flexibility wins. We've all heard the analogy to the stiff, dry twig breaking while the green twig of similar diameter bends, and it's true for communication as well. When we ask, say, or nonverbally communicate something the recipient may have an unexpected or undesired response. We've all had that happen. And we can't change that, but we may be able to change the final outcome, because we still have the opportunity and maybe even the responsibility, in some cases, to respond accordingly.

We have responsibility for our part of...

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