WPV & Communication
October 25, 2013
WPV & Communication
“We don’t talk anymore!” How many times has that line been used in a sit com or drama television series or movie? It is a standard formula for relationships in those genres, not to mention innumerable novels and short stories. In some cases it’s the cause for a divorce.
But in our modern technologically fast paced world, we don’t communicate anymore as we should. Face-to-face or on the phone is the best way to communicate with each other. And yet we don’t take the time to do so.
Understandably, we are all busy and sometimes a text or e-mail is easier or preferable to taking the time to actually talking to someone who may be so long winded as to keep you on the phone for an innumerable amount of time so that you can’t do anything else, especially if you’re late for a meeting or dinner or something similar. Hmmm, seems like I just made my point.
But in the realm of WPV it gets much more serious and can be deadly if we don’t communicate effectively face to face. Many managers, HR and floor, communicate quite well in this fashion, and it is one reason why the best practice in termination someone is face-to-face and not over the phone or otherwise.
A prime example of not effectively communicating was back in 1998. At a General Dynamics facility a man was sent a lay-off notice via inter-office mail. Not so unusual at all, then. However, what was not very efficient or effective communication was the fact that the man had just buried his 6-year-old son, because of cancer, and had been on bereavement leave. No consolation, no sympathy, no personal meeting to break the news gently. ‘Okay, so sorry, but you’re fired. Bye Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!’ If anyone had a reason for going off he did because of very poor communication skills by GD’s HR department.
Some of this issue with poor communication skills is that we just don’t have the support networks that we need to have, like us old coots do, if something goes wrong in our lives. A recent study showed that the younger generations would rather text or send an e-mail rather than talk face-to-face. And that includes using other social media.
We isolate ourselves with text messages, e-mail, and social media. All to avoid talking to someone. Whether you agree or not, this isolation in comparison to face-to-face conversations and actually talking to someone on the phone takes a toll on us.
E-mail, texting, and social media, don’t allow for us to reveal feelings in the real world. You can text someone, but how do you convey sadness, trouble, or a deeply troubling issue in a text or e-mail? As far as that goes what about Twitter or instagram?
And because we utilize social media, the internet, and texting we don’t develop the social networks i.e. friendships, that we need if something happens. We don’t have shoulders to cry on or even complain to (as much). So instead of letting our feelings out in a safe manner (because many times we’re scared of the stigma of mental illness and health professionals) that we hold it inside until we explode – like the man did with a cigar in Lakewood California on the 7th of September, or the teenager did in Sparks Nevada on the 21st of October.
We need to begin communicating face-to-face again, whenever possible. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to talk on the phone or face-to-face to someone. It helps us to gauge their emotions and it allows us to let our emotions out. By doing this, we are releasing stress in our lives. If we don’t develop friendships then we are a lot like Robinson Crusoe. Set adrift on a desert island with no support.
And if we set ourselves adrift in a sea of emotion with no land in sight then we are in for an explosion of emotion when the right trigger comes upon us. And many times, circumstances begin piling up on us and because we don’t know how to communicate to others and let our real emotions out we end up like the sailors on the USS Indianapolis at the tail end of WWII, either being eaten alive or sinking in that sea of emotion!
And this in turn results in WPV and SV incidents. And in reality, in causes a great many violent incidents, including DV. And many times, even if we do communicate, it’s not with the right people i.e. Gang members or other hooligans.
So, we need to relieve ourselves of our technology once in a while and talk face-to-face with people. Whether that be our kids, peers, friends, or just the public in general. Learn to utilize that thing below your nose that God so graciously gave us (although I’m sure that you would wish some people wouldn’t!).
Clients rely on the 30 years of skills, knowledge, & expertise of Sollars Security Shield to ensure the safety and security of their property and their most important asset’s – their people. He helps these companies to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuits that can result from a single incident of WPV.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in numerous media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.
Robert utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his experience and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;
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