Two types of communication

Eran Goldman-Malka · March 22, 2024

Two types of communication

We have two types of communication. The first type is those who speak a problem-solving language, and the second is those who leave you with a problem.

First examples:

Me: Beer next Thursday? Problem-creating answer: I can’t. I have plans for Thursday. Problem-solving answer 1: Sure, that sounds great. What time? I can meet you there after work. Let me know what time works for you. Problem-solving answer 2: I can’t. I have plans for Thursday; how about Wednesday or Friday after work? With the Problem-creating answer, I need to ask again and find out when and where, and usually, no one has the energy to continue this conversation. So, usually, I reply with a like emoji and move to another friend.

Second example:

I want to report a bug in the system. Pay attention. It’s a bug, yet it’s an opportunity to create a solution. Problem creating - We have a bug in production. Someone needs to solve it. Problem-solving - I found a bug in the system. I opened screen A, typed “1234”, and got the error: 500 Error - you have a bug.

Third example (from my kids’ school):

Problem creating - Teacher: You’re disturbing, and it’s disturbing me. The kid doesn’t know what action he did and what he needs to change, but he feels ashamed for disturbing the teacher. Problem-solving: Teacher: Mike, You’re talking with Sam while the rest of the class tries to concentrate, making it hard to focus. Please write to him, or stop talking if it’s not critical.

So what to do ?

I decided to change the way I speak. Instead of creating problems, I’ll aim to explain the situation and solve problems. By doing this, I’m helping to create an atmosphere of understanding and collaboration so colleagues, kids, and friends can move faster and find solutions.

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