I have had quiet a few relationship in my life, and I am not talking only in a romantic way but also friendships, as a son, as a teacher, as a coworker.. All this relationships with other humans, only work when the communication is good. I know it may sound too simple, it may sound like something you know already, but think about it:
Is this knowledge enough to make your communication effective?
When A and B communicate there are a lot of things to consider for the communication to be effective. In this short article I will share with you 3 tips that I found really important to improve the way to communicate:
- Make sure you share the same vocabulary
- Avoid mind reading a.k.a. making assumptions
- Clear the disturbance from the past
1) What does this word means, to you?
We are talking about the basics here guys, but how many time you fail to consider this point? Some words doesn’t mean the same to everyone. Let me explain this: a dog, is a dog for everyone. What change is the emotional meaning attached to the word, dog. Someone may love dogs, someone may be damn scared even watching a photo of a dog. And this is true for a simple word like dog, now imagine what happen when it comes to topic such as feelings, fear, love. Anyone of us attach a different emotional meaning to each word, so every time you communicate with someone you should consider that there will be a slightly different emotional package on every word you say.
Emotional attachments are not the only reason why words can end up with a different meaning for two people communicating. There can also be a problem during the translation of a word or a phrase, something that make completely sense in a language, can make no sense in another EVEN if the translation is correct. SO remember that:
Clarity is the mother of successful communication. As a sender clarity means using words with low emotional charge (when is possible) and always consider that something you say may have a double meaning. As a receiver clarity means not making assumption or interpretation but ask if the message you receive is not clear to you.
2) Maybe she/he is thinking that
During an unclear communication the possibility that you try to mind read the other person is very high. And this works both ways. As a sender, you question yourself about the reaction the other will have with your message; as a receiver you start asking yourself if the sender actually wanted to say that, or if she/he meant something else. Confusing, isn’t it? And the result is just one: mess.
When you send a message you have to consider that who is receiving it may start this “self questioning” action, especially if you are not clear. What is the solution? Being clear. On the other hand, when you receive a message that is not clear DO NOT start making assumption, BUT ask for more clarity. I know, sometimes you create a whole world on something that is not clear, a world that you don’t want to be changed by clarity. But clarity is more important than reading it in the way we like it, at least if you want to succeed in the communication/relationship.
Disturbance come from past and present situations, and can lead to misinterpretation of the message. While “sending a message” you have to consider how the past communication have influenced the present. Or how the present condition may alter what you are trying to say. There may be some “recorded” emotion from the past, some anger, or fear, that have been connected to the topic you are now trying to communicate. When you start a conversation, make sure that this kind of “communication memories” have been cleared and in this way you will have a fresh start on the topic.