Take a moment and think about a recent conversation you had that was rewarding and useful. You likely had a lot to say, as did everyone else involved. There was a lot of back and forth as everyone took their time to express their opinions while giving others the chance to share their insights.
It wasn’t just one person going on and on without the contribution of others, was it?
That’s the main difference between communicating with each other and just informing someone of something.
It may be popular to call this time in modern history “the information age,” but organizations that want to succeed in the future must be committed to communicating—not just informing—with clarity and confidence.
Communicating and Informing: The Difference
Many people assume they’re communicating with others all the time. After all, we chat with our families, friends and coworkers. We send emails constantly. We talk on our cell phones, and we text.
Is that communicating? Not necessarily.
The difference comes down to the dynamics of the relationship. Informing is effectively a one-way conversation. In so many words, I talk and you listen. It’s static.
On the other hand, communication flows both ways. It’s far more dynamic than informing. There’s an ebb and flow to the energy. We’re both talking and, in so doing, acknowledging that we hear and understand each other.
Moreover, communication tends to result in some type of action. In essence, when I communicate with you, we’re saying: “I’m sharing something with you. You understand my point. In turn, how do you intend to use what we’ve discussed?”
By contrast, informing doesn’t involve that sort…