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Getting the word out on communication

Shannon Hurst talks about communication in this week's My Town column.

Communication: the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.

While communication may have started thousands of years ago and comes in many forms and mediums it is also constantly evolving.

A few weeks ago an interesting discussion came about in a line up at a grocery store about what was the most important things you can teach a child. Several things come to mind instantly, such as love, kindness, respect, acceptance, how to be fair, have fun and several practical life skills and philosophies that are part of developing our children into well rounded happy adults. However as I drove away the word communication kept echoing through my thoughts.

Truly, learning how to communicate is one of the most important things we need to do in our life and is fundamental in all relationships and a key factor in the success of any organization; from a parent to a child, friend to friend, boss to employee, husband to wife, teacher to a student, media outlets to others, Prime Minister to his delegates, well I could go on and on.

It’s quite a powerful tool in life if done properly and with respect, it is an excellent way to get through life.

However, used in a wrong way or done in a poor manner or most importantly, not done at all, it can cause a boat load of trouble. A great example in the Hazeltons is the lack of proper communication that went on within the Gitxsan Nation.

If people had been informed of decisions and discussions of events when they were happening, things most likely would never have gone so astray according to many Gitxsan members.

Yet it seemed to an outsider looking in that there was some breakdown in the chain of communication from those dealing with negotiations on all issues, to the Simgiigyet, to the people they speak for.

Then there seemed to be different information being communicated in several directions to add to the confusion.

Yet when people gathered to talk and discuss the concerns, things started to get resolved and most importantly the Gitxsan have started to unite in a wonderful and positive way that I am sure will better and strengthen their many communities and the thousands of Gitxsan members across their great Nation.

On my own home front, and back to the origin of this discussion, communicating with my children is one of the most important things I can do to strengthen their future and build my relationship with them as a parent.  If I can teach my children how to communicate in a respectful, informative, clear and concise manner it will be a greet tool for them in whatever situation life leads them.

Shannon Hurst writes the weekly My Town and is the Hazeltons correspondent.