Master your approach


In life, those people that tame the tongue easily become better communicators. Besides hard work, good manners and communication are ingredients to success. The purpose of communication is to get a message across to others that involves both the sender of the message and the receiver. One expert once said that a message is only successful when both the sender and the receiver perceive it in the same way.

In spite of the increased importance placed on communication, many individuals continue to struggle with this skill and are unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively. Ensuring your message is understood is paramount to progress. To do this, you must understand your message, the audience you are sending it to, and how the audience will perceive the message.

I remember when I was young, I would usually rush to bombard my father with all the tales of the day, what is needed around the house and ask him for stuff the moment he just walked through the door from a long day at work. What I later realised is he hardly listened at that point and would easily get annoyed, which I did not understand then.


Later I realised that at the point he was walking through the door from work, what he was looking for was peace, rest and food because he was coming from a long frustrating day of work, he was tired and he was hungry. So regardless of how legit my requests and reports were, he would not listen.

I did notice though, that when I talked to him about issues when he had rested and chilled back, like later in the night or over the weekend, I had his full attention and usually things went my way. I have also come to realise that these kind of concepts apply everywhere with everyone. Your manner of approach: be it in tone, communication channel, body language, environment, choice of words and timing plays a large part in achieving and adding value to anything.

Sometimes you might have a point but one will not listen to you and might even argue with you because of the manner of approach. Sometimes you have a good idea for an investment but it all goes down the drain because the timing was wrong. Sometimes you lose a good chance at something all because you chose the wrong environment to address an issue, like telling off your partner in public won’t get you anywhere.


A lady I chat with once in a while, once told me a very interesting story. There was a time her spouse used to drink a lot and come home late every day. Due to frustrations she resorted to welcoming him angrily every time he came. Things only got worse. Upon concern for her daughter’s welfare, her mother gave her some grass and advised her to place a blade under her tongue every time her husband came in.

She followed this and thought it was some charm. Within two week she realised she hadn’t said any angry words to her husband and had remained quite when he came in because the blade of grass made talking tricky. She also realised her spouse had started coming home earlier and spending time with her. Her mother later told her that there was nothing special about the blade of grass, it was just meant to keep her mouth shut.

The moral of the story here is that manner of approach plays a very big role in achieving something. Sometimes the manner of approach is your only tool to achieving something. As much as the husband was not right in spending most of his time away, the angry tantrums were not adding value to anything because it was a poor manner of approach.

So just like in marketing, how, where, when and who you sell your ideas, opinions, requests, reservations, investments, arguments and the like matters a great deal if success and accomplishment are top of your list. And if your manner of approach is consistently impressive, you might even get your “products and services” sold even when other options are available because you have given them impeccable branding and made yourself a market leader.

Make a great manner of approach your New Year resolutions and personal post 2015 development agenda.

I rest my case

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