Communication is one of the most important aspects of human interaction. It can bridge the gap between people who experience the world in different ways, but it can also be a great challenge.
Trying to communicate with someone who experiences the world in a different way can be difficult, especially when it comes to conveying abstract concepts like colors or subtleties of language and expression. It’s often said that trying to explain colors to someone who is colorblind is like trying to explain rainbows to a blind person. On the surface, it may seem impossible. Colors are an abstract concept, and it is difficult to convey how we experience them to someone who cannot.
Similarly, trying to explain the nuances of language and expression can be a challenge, especially when working with someone whose native tongue is not the same as our own.
At our office, we recently encountered this issue with our office cleaner, a cheerful guy who really wants to do a good job. He would do whatever he was asked, but he had a hard time noticing things that needed to be done that he hadn’t been told. For example, he would miss cobwebs in the corners or dust on the window sills.
Recently, I had an idea: instead of asking him to notice things that needed to be cleaned or minor repairs, each day he should hunt for five things that needed cleaning. By changing the task from noticing to hunting, it gave him a specific goal to focus on and helped him to actually find the things that needed attention. We also created a chart that listed the tasks he was supposed to do, and he was able to track his progress. This gave him a tangible reward system, and it seemed to motivate him more.
Now that we have gamified it, he is actually noticing what we wanted him to see in the first place. Although this was just a small example, it shows the importance of being able to communicate effectively with someone who experiences the world in a different way. Understanding the other person’s perspective can be difficult, but it is essential if we want to bridge the gap between us.
By being creative and finding ways to make the task more engaging, we can help those we are communicating with to better understand the concepts we are trying to convey.