The “Fault” in communication occurs naturally and is shared by all humans.
The First Cognition: If you were in a room with 10 other people and told each one of them separately the exact same story word for word, every one of them would get something different out of it.
The Second Cognition: In that same room of 10, you can whisper a very short story to one person and have them tell the story to another until each person has heard from another person the story you told.
What happens? The last people to hear the story have a significantly different version of the story than you shared.
No matter how well you communicate, this will always be the case.
This is why it’s so important to learn how to communicate well.
People filter information through their own biases, rules, feelings and emotions in their brain and not yours.
I have a habit of repeating things back to people if I want to be certain I get what they are saying.
“So let’s see if I can replicate that. You’re saying that…”
And then I’ll interpret what I just said…that they articulated.
“And what that means to you is that you felt disrespected and that I was talking down to you with intention of hurting you. Do I have that right?”
And YOU MUST SAY, “and do I have that right?”…and get confirmation.
THAT is the check mark for crystal clear communication.
Now you will see if all the filters in YOUR brain allowed what the other person said to penetrate and sink in as they intended.
It’s possible and even likely, that you will discover that you read your own thoughts, ideas and beliefs into what they were saying (or texting or emailing, etc.). You easily could have miscalculated the intention of their communication as well.
Then Do This
When you are talking with others have them repeat back to you what you said and what they think you meant by that. This way you will be more certain that you each understood what the other person MEANS.
Sometimes people get hung up on being “right” about your intention. They will say, “I heard you say X, so don’t tell me you mean Y, change your story and back pedal.”
The entire point of living, communicating, loving and caring is to DEMAND back pedaling to accurate representations of thought and to articulate them until the correct representations are made clear.
The brain simply is too fragmented to communicate information as a representation of the cohesive whole person.
You really want to know what the nonconscious reactions are being interpreted and you want to know what the conscious mind, “the you” are thinking. They rarely agree with each other and studies have made it abundantly clear that the personalities of these two (or more) “parts” of an individual don’t even correlate to each other.
It’s a little extra work and you don’t have to do this in insignificant conversations, but you do want to do this when it can matter.
When communicating by email…oh my…isn’t that something that has gotten you in trouble over the years….be careful.
Reading text with precision is simply not possible.
Because we tend to write how we speak and think, it’s pretty easy to type the wrong the thing. When I’m writing Coffee for example, there are often sentences that often say the opposite of what I was thinking because my feelings got ahead of my thinking. (This happens in real life too!)
Spend time on learning a proper tone of voice and how to use the right approach depending on who you are talking to.
Tone of voice is huge in conversation. Seek clarity for the other person in your tone as well as you understanding theirs.
Invest time learning new vocabulary and writing skills which will help you in your communication skills.
This is step one in regaining control in your life.
Next up…solving stress and fear…