Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
Add a few distinctions and things start to get interesting in terms of meaning and understanding and how we share what we share.
Take the current Covid-19 Pandemic in our country and in the world.
So far what I have observed and experienced is a lot of confusion when it comes to getting everyone on the same page with what’s actually happening and what will happen next.
One of the biggest issues is our leaders’ unwillingness to simply say what’s so without spin. And it’s the extra stuff of spin that causes a lot of confusion and often strong feelings rather than clarity and understanding.
I get it.
We are in a global pandemic and we don’t know what we don’t know.
No-one likes uncertainly so rather than say so, we fill up the space with lots of spin and half-truths and stuff that doesn’t help.
If you want people to get what you mean, you need to explicitly and distinctly say what you mean.
If you are afraid to say what you mean, you end up filling the space with a whole lot of words that don’t help to provide clarity or comprehension.
When you are concerned about how people will respond/react to your communication the most powerful thing you can say up front is exactly that … then say what you want to say and say what you mean.
When you attempt to hide your discomfort, when you are not willing to admit you are scared and you don’t know … things get very confused and confusing for everyone involved.
First say the purpose of your communication … give CONTEXT … then you can say all the content. This first crucial step is what many miss in an attempt to get all the content out. And when you fail to explicitly and clearly give CONTEXT then the receiver will simply make up what they think you mean in the gap. Misunderstandings are simply failure to give explicit context and clarity in the first place.
So when you want to be understood, when you want the other (or others) to get what you mean … just say so!
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