What Did Captain Kirk Teach Us About Managing Difficult Situations?

Let’s go where no man has gone before “Sulu, set a course for communication.”

Star Trek brought us many things and influenced our lives in many ways. The current cell phone looks the way it does based upon the communicator used buy a crew of USS Enterprise. Computer screens and many other technological devices used today were designed with Star Trek in mind.

Capt. Kirk was faced with many difficult situations with “new life and new civilizations” that spoke different languages and sometimes with aliens that did not speak at all. He had to boldly deal with different cultures and classes of people but still be able to find a way to communicate. What we learned most from Capt. Kirk was his ability to find a way to communicate and get his point across while understanding the other party’s point of view, no matter how different that view was from his.


Learn to Listen First

So, how we learn to communicate better is to learn to listen more. Capt. Kirk had to find many ways to understand what the aliens were trying to tell him. Often they seemed aggressive but turned out to be in need of help.  Even when they were planning harm for the crew of the enterprise, many times they just needed someone to listen to them. By learning to listen you actually hear what is being said.

Repeat and Rephrase

The next step is to “repeat, rephrase or reiterate” what has been said by the speaker so that it is clear that the message was received and most importantly, understood. By repeating and clarifying the points presented by the speaker, you are validating that you not only heard WHAT the speaker said, but that you also comprehend the message the speaker was trying to deliver.

Listen Some More

The final step is to listen some more. As we listen we build a rapport with the speaker and as we begin to rephrase the message we give emotional power to the conversation. Jim Kirk found ways to get the message and relay it back to aliens all over the galaxy. How are you doing at the same task within the walls of your office? I bet there is much room for improvement in your ability to communicate with your staff and clients when things become difficult. If you can become great at this you will come out on top by creating and maintaining a great relationship with your clients and staff.

“Sulu set a course for communication”

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