I feel a lesson in communication coming on so my teacher tendencies must be kicking in so here we go:
Noise is anything that disrupts communication and is not always audible (oh if noise was only that simple). In fact, if noise was only able to be heard then deaf people would be perfect communicators as nothing would inhibit their communication. However, noise comes in three forms: physical, physiological and psychological.
Physical noise occurs outside of our body. For example, I am listening to music on headphones as I type this so if somebody in this coffee shop was to come up and try to talk with me then the music would be noise. However that is not the only physical noise that would inhibit conversation with a person who wanted to talk with me right now. I am connected to Facebook and a notification from there could distract me from communicating and do so without making a sound.
The second kind of noise is physiological and is inside our body. If I am hungry, tired, sleepy, dopey or Doc, then that’s physiological noise (OK, not Doc as that’s a bit of Seven Dwarfs humor). My hair keeps falling in my eyes and that distraction can hinder my ability to communicate.
The last type of noise is of the mind and is called psychological. If I am busy thinking about something else and that’s affecting my ability to focus on what’s being communicated to me, then I am experiencing psychological noise.
One more thought about noise before we move on: noise is both situational and individualistic. In other words, what disrupts communication differs with time, place, person, topic and other factors. For example, I do not communicate well when I am tired so I am careful to not have a lot of conversations when I am in that state. I do not articulate nor do I listen well.
OK now we are heading to the big finish of this blog post…Since I believe that the most useless knowledge is that which is left in the classroom or on the blog post, let me share some practical advice to do with your newfound noise knowledge.
Awareness is key to making change so I challenge you to get in tune with what kind of noise affects you when, where, how and why. As you get a handle on these factors, you can begin to look for ways to reduce the noise in your life. Post comments or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do another blog entry with specific noise reduction strategies.
Jane Freund is an author, publisher and speaker based in Boise, Idaho. She is the owner of Freundship Press LLC and has written several print and electronic books. Her latest book “Eggshells and Elephants – My Cancer Journey Thus Far” chronicles her recent successful battle defeating thyroid cancer and is available at www.etsy.com/freundship. Jane can be reached at email@example.com.