Seinfeld was—and still is—one of my favourite television shows. The show “about nothing” often commented on how people communicate. Here are a few Seinfeld moments and what they say about communications.
1. “Yada, yada, yada”
Lesson: Be clear and explicit when you speak. Don’t gloss over details of the story, expecting your audience to know what you mean. If you rely on the other party to figure it out, you’re allowing them to fill in the gaps with their own details.
2. The puffy shirt
Lesson: If you don’t understand something, say so. Many of us will simply nod if we don’t hear or understand what someone is saying. It’s as though we feel it’s impolite to ask the person to speak up or to repeat what they’ve said. But it’s not impolite. And by thoughtlessly nodding, we can set ourselves up for great misunderstandings. So if you don’t understand, don’t nod.
3. The Moops
Lesson: Remember to pay attention to detail. We all make the occasional typo, but some of these mistakes are worse than others. If you don’t proofread carefully, you could release incorrect information to the rest of the world.
4. The exclamation point
Lesson: Exclamation points are usually not a good idea. Most of the time, they aren’t necessary and overuse can annoy or distract readers. If you really feel an exclamation point is needed to denote excitement or anger in your writing, remember that one is always enough (i.e., “Great!” not “Great!!!!!”).
5. The counter
Lesson: Make eye contact when you’re conversing with someone. Eye contact is important because we get visual cues from each other when we are talking. We can see if the person is interested, bored or if they even heard us correctly in the first place.
Now, I wonder what all those hours of watching Saved by the Bell taught me.