How does the title of this blog post sit with you?
Read it again, slowly…
“The Meaning Of Communication Is The Response That You Get.”
What does this statement mean for you?
Let me explain my interpretation.
How often have you, or you’ve heard someone say “That was an over-reaction”, or “They misinterpreted that”, or “They totally missed that message”.
When people don’t hear things the way we intended, we can sometimes be quick to point the finger. We can place blame on them for their lack of listening, or for taking things too personally.
Too often workplace conflict arises when communication is like parallel lines that never meet. Each person is intent on imparting their worldview, ideas, requests or information without considering who they are talking to and how it might be received. It can escalate into a stand-off where each person digs their heels in, intent on getting their point across, and blames the other for not seeing things their way.
The thing is, if we take responsibility for the response that we get from our communication, it puts us in a position of being able to change that response. However, if we just put out our communication and expect other people to be able to understand it and not take responsibility if they don’t, then we could end up in a bit of a stalemate.
As the more animal-friendly euphemism goes: “There’s more than one way to cook an egg”, and if one way isn’t working, then try another!
That is, if you find you’re going head-to-head, seek a gentler approach.
If they’re not getting your key information, then try a more succinct approach.
If you feel as though they aren’t hearing your side/point, then try fully listening to theirs first.
You can’t change anyone, but yourself. By taking responsibility for the response that you get, then changing how you communicate, you’ll find that your interactions will go a whole lot more smoothly.
I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts around this week’s blog post. Feel free to drop me a line 🙂