Tell Me What You Mean
Communication literally means to share – thoughts, feelings, facts, information etc. Yet it is not sufficient or effective to share only the surface stuff without being explicit and clear about what you actually mean.
Before you communicate anything, you need to look beneath the surface of the stuff you want to say to get clear about what you want the other to understand before you start communicating. There is a huge difference in the efficacy of your communication when you clearly and explicitly communicate context before blahing out all your content.
The meaning of your communication IS the response you get … which means that whatever comes back in response explicitly shows you what the other actually understood … what they actually thought you meant … which may be quite different to what you expected them to understand.
As I have said before, being “misunderstood” is a myth … what’s really going on is a failure on your part to effectively communicate what you mean before you communicate anything else.
Whenever you feel misunderstood, rather than simply reacting and ending up in the fruitless blame game of the A>B conversation, stop … take a breath and ask yourself:
“What did I want this person to understand from my communication? How is that different to what they actually understood? What didn’t I say, that once said, would have this person understand me the way I intended?”
Then communicate what you mean – openly, honestly, clearly, directly and completely and keep communicating until they get what you mean and you get they got it.
When you tell me what you mean, I have a context within which to truly understand what you mean to say rather than making up what I think you mean.
Tell me what you mean before you tell me
what you want to tell me.