Nature abhors a vacuum and so do people especially when they feel that something is going on which they are not party to, when something is happening and they are not in the know. You find that whenever a story is told, a statement is a made or an idea is released that is without sufficient explanation or background detail then immediately that void will be filled by some rumour or invention. Between the lines are read, subtexts are inserted and the blank pages are filled in. It is not a conscious filling however, it is not a well thought out and reasoned argument but rather an instinctive, visceral response, a lizard brain reaction that draws upon the deep felt insecurity and paranoia that hides within us all.
These inventions have little respect for the truth but then there is no such thing as the truth, there is only perception and probability. People perceive things to be true and there is a degree of probability that they are right but no one can know the degree of probability with any certainty and people’s perceptions are hard to dislodge and hard to disprove. After all, by the laws of probability they may indeed be right and this forms the basis for all conspiracy theory and of much in-work rumour mongering.
But the lack of information is not the same as the withholding of information and the lack of explanation is not the same as an intention to deceive but that is how it can feel. We are only told enough to keep us guessing, the bits we really need to know are kept back as knowledge is power and by not knowing we are subverted, emasculated and enslaved. The fact that the whole story is not told is proof that there is something to hide.
Communications may be a two-way street with a story that has to be given and one that has to be received but it’s an uphill journey for the speaker and a downhill freewheel for the listener. The giver only has one chance to say the words in a way that gets their message across but the listener can chew them over in their mind, time and time again, repeating them, re-interpreting them and re-telling them. In this way one story can be told but many can be heard. In this way people can take a story and remake it in their own image, flex it and re-work it so that it supports their own arguments and agendas.
Beware of the voids that your communications unintentionally create. They are going to be filled and you might not recognise the story that appears.
2 thoughts on “The communications void”
I think the same holds true for knowledge. Those who share information and pass on their knowledge to others will always gain from the sharing and those who keep things to themselves will always loose.
An organisations strength lies not only with its physical assets but with its people and the knowledge the have. Learning (training) and the gaining of knowledge should be encouraged for everyone, not just “the chosen few”. Any organisation that does not see the value in encouraging training or encouraging learning (or thinks it cant afford it) is doomed to never reach its true potential.
Thanks for your comment. Too true. Knowledge is power but the truly powerful are those who share their knowledge for the good of the organisation.