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How to distinguish "noise" from useful information

Posted by editors itwnet     October 1, 2008     9 views    
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"Communication is challenging enough under optimal conditions; add excessive noise and you multiply the difficulty. With so much coming at us from every angle at almost every second, distinguishing noise from useful information in the communication process is no simple task."

Writes Geof Lory on his ProjectConnections Blog. "Cell phones, iPods, and other plug-ins drown out one set of uncontrolled noise only to replace it with the user's choice of another noise. E-mail, voice mail, the Internet and 152 cable channels provide a steady stream of visual and audio stimulus. Quiet time, once a punitive measure reserved for the undisciplined child, may now be a welcomed reward—at least it would be for me." "But I don't define noise just by the level of decibels. It also is defined by quality: how the stimuli land on the eyes and ears and eventually in the head of the receiver. More specifically, how meaningful is the noise?" "I am always on the lookout for noise. When I think I may be encountering noise, my first step is to listen more intently to determine what I am hearing. Then I ask some simple questions: What part of that noise do I know to be true? What value does this noise have on the work I am planning to do? What would be the effect if I had not heard this noise?" "Just slowing down long enough to listen and ask these questions helps me stay conscious enough to determine if I am hearing noise or worthwhile information. Only then can I make a decision to act, ignore, or cancel. If you do this, you may be surprised by how much is noise. The more you practice this, the more comfortable you will get with canceling, ignoring, or at least not reacting to the noise in a knee-jerk way. This calm and discerning demeanor will foster a less noisy team where communication flows more effectively and productivity increases." Read more here >>>