There are several business/leadership blogs and newsletters to which I subscribe. This morning, I was reading one such newsletter about PowerPoint presentations and something really struck me.
In “Really Bad PowerPoint,” Seth Godin says:
“Communication Is The Transfer Of Emotion
“If all you want to do is create a file of facts and figures, then cancel the meeting
and send in a report. Do it in PowerPoint if you want, but it’s not a
presentation, it’s a report. It will contain whatever you write down, but don’t
imagine for a second that you’re powerfully communicating any ideas.
Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help
them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you
are.) Unless you’re an amazing writer, it’s awfully hard to do that in a report.”
Communication is the transfer of emotion.
My husband talks to me in bullet points, in reports. “It’s raining outside.” “I made x amount of dollars today.” “My sister’s dog died and she got two more.” “My mom went to the hospital.” “Dave Ramsey is funny.”
No transfer of emotion. No communication.
I just received a text from him: “Feed and water your chickens.” Yeah. So? No emotion. That’s o.k. I don’t need an emotional transfer about feeding my chickens. (Neither do I need to be reminded to feed my chickens!”
The thing is, the rest of his “communication” with me is just like the text message. Short. Not meaningful.
If test messages and bullet points and reports were only one part of our “communication,” I don’t think that would be a problem. It’s just that this is about all I get.
Oh, and I get snide remarks, subtle criticism.
On Friday, I found a tawny scrawny
lion kitten on my deck. He is so adorable. He has stolen my heart. I think he is about eight weeks old. He’s gaining a little weight now and is eating more and playing. My husband keeps saying things like, I wonder if my parents want a cat; why don’t you let him go outside and see where he goes; maybe he doesn’t want to live here. I don’t think my husband wants me to have this little kitty. We already have three cats, two of which he got for us when we moved here. They are o.k., of course. The cat I brought home from a co-worker for my daughter, because my co-worker couldn’t keep the cat in her apartment anymore and my daughter wanted another cat (hers had gotten old and died about a year before), that cat he wasn’t happy about. Although, he likes that cat o.k. now. But I don’t think he likes me to have this kitten.
And yesterday, I was cleaning out my freezer a little to make dinner. I’m not always good about always using food in a timely manner so I’ve decided to make as many meals as I can from stuff I already have. So yesterday, I made beef stew in the crock pot. It was delicious! However, it was very, VERY hot outside, so I realize it seems silly to have beef stew on such a hot day. And I had a feeling he would say something about it. He did. He said, “This is really good stew…. just what I needed to warm up on such a hot day.” I know. Big deal.
You know, I get nothing positive. Last night he asked if he had any clean work shirts. I told him they were in the pile on the floor. As he was picking one up, I started to say, I’ll get them hung up for you tomorrow, but he interrupted and said, this is my favorite one and it’s starting to wear out. Did it even matter to him that I was trying to say something?
A couple of books I’ve read talk about the “Love Bank.” In a relationship, you have to make “deposits,” loving words and actions that fill the other person’s emotional bank account. If you make too many “withdrawals,” hurtful words and actions, it drains the emotional bank account of the other person. And if this continues, the relationship dies.
I could handle the occasional negative if there was a lot more positive, if there was something to balance it out. But there’s not.
And then you add the wounds of everyday life and sometimes I feel like I am bleeding all over the place with nothing to stop the hemorrhaging, nothing to comfort and heal me.
Wow. All of this from a newsletter about PowerPoint presentations.