August 15, 2018

We blur the edges


Given that none of us are perfect communicators, in any conversation there are two tracks to listen for: what’s being said, and what’s not. There’s room for confusion in both.

Most of us make the broad assumption that when we speak, our interlocutor hears what we say. They don’t. They hear part of it, filter some out and interpret everything in a way that makes sense to them. Which may or may not be what we intended.

We also make the assumption that we’re good communicators in the first place. That if we have something to say we say all of it and we say it clearly. We don’t. We’re ambiguous, we pull our punches, we blur the edges, we leave too much to interpretation, we’re not direct.

Whenever possible – whether you’re the speaker of the listener – check for understanding and clarity.

Skippy strategy: Say it back to make sure it’s clear.