Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Humpty Dumpty Approach To Interpersonal Communication

Taking a break from OB/D titles recently, I continued on with the whimsical offerings of Lewis Carroll.  Those of you who’ve read Through the Looking Glass may recall this passage in Chapter 6:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

The character, of course, adopted this approach in 1871, almost a century before communication scholars studied and concluded the meaning of any message resides ultimately within the mind of the recipient, creating the responsibility of the sender to ensure the message was adequately framed and conveyed in order for the recipient to connect with the original intention.

Considering these 20th Century developments, Estate Managers can no longer flatly state organizational objectives or standards and expect staff cooperation, nor even a more simplistic and less effective mode of compliance.  The riddle for today's estates now becomes:  how can one fully develop the potential of domestic estates, by remaining sensitive to the people around them and where true meanings reside, communication becomes effectively understood among staff, and the principals have their needs sufficiently met?