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Ugandans are busy talking but expect to harvest

Isa Senkumba

Ugandans are busy talking but expect to harvest

Ugandans may be among the people blessed with talking too much.


Ugandans may be among the people blessed with talking too much. We have the calories to talk from sunrise till sunset, religion, entertainment to personalities.  The media has also immensely contributed towards setting the agenda and providing people with topics to talk about. The irony is that as we talk, work comes to stand still.

You are likely to find a boda boda cyclist talking politics as if he stays in State House or works in a minister’s office. A young man may talk about international soccer as if he is a FIFA ambassador in Uganda. People talk about private lives of celebrities as if they share the same roofs with them. Everyone has a right to talk and they feel an obligation to utilize this constitutional right.

If you think some topics receive way too much attention in news coverage, you’re not alone.

An online survey of 2,537 adults conducted by the Harris Poll in August 2014 showed that a large proportion of Americans are fed up with news coverage that skews toward the sensational, superficial, and sports-centric.

76% of U.S. adults surveyed believe that celebrity gossip and scandal stories receive too much coverage, while 49% believe that entertainment news in general gets too much attention. Meanwhile, 44% believe that the news focuses too much on professional spectator sports, and 33% believe the same for politics and elections.

When government and business sector own the media we are likely to have less coverage on more pertinent topic like humanitarian issues, education, science, government corruption scandals, corporate corruption, health and others. The media has provided more information than the public needs. They have guided the public’s attention to less significant issues such as political conflict and political gossip. The lack of information on the public interest is related to the commercilaised operation of the media.

As more and more people engage in media gossip there is a possibility that works is impeded. Citizens wake up in the morning only to talk about what the media published and broadcasted. We risk doing no work because we remote controlled to discuss what government and the media want us to talk about. The nation has developed more talkaholics than before.

Compulsive talking sometimes referred to as communication addiction disorder goes beyond the bounds of what is considered to be a socially acceptable amount of talking. The two main factors in determining if someone is a compulsive talker are talking in a continuous manner, only stopping when the other person starts talking, and others perceiving their talking as a problem. Personality traits that have been positively linked to this compulsion include assertiveness, willingness to communicate, self-perceived communication competence, and neuroticism.

Studies have shown that most people who are talkaholics are aware of the amount of talking they do, but they are unable to stop, and do not see it as a problem. The cardinal problem is that people who talk too much are likely to do less work. They have less concentration at work and they are likely to do more mistakes. Traditionally such people have been considered to be lazy and pretenders.   That’s why in tales we are told that a talkative person always has something to hide.

Some people grow up with the “bad habit” of talking without listening. This is a problem, because communication problems often underlie many other problems people have in their relationships. One of the most powerful communication skills you will learn is good listening. Communication is meant to promote understanding. You can’t wind up understanding each other if you’re not actively listening.

 Research has always shown that if you are trying to convince somebody of something, listening is a much more powerful tool than talking. Listening actually strengthens your influence. Showing that you are willing to hear the other person means you have then bought the right to offer your opinion or make your request.

Another bad habit people develop is cutting people off. People often butt in if they are frightened something is going to be said that they don’t like or don’t agree with. But it’s much better to validate what the other person is saying before you disagree with them. Show them ‘I can see that’s how you feel’. It doesn’t mean you agree but it is how you show respect. Then you have bought the right to be heard because you have shown you understand where they are coming from. This makes people feel as though you really understand their problem.



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