Failure To Communicate

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw.

Ever tell your child to do something and it doesn’t happen? “Well, I thought you said…,” was the reply.

What about miscommunication with spouse or significant other? You thought you said….

I write to international audiences. In fact, this blog has readers in England, Ireland, Germany, India, China, Australia, Italy and more. Even in the English-speaking countries, there are nuances in the language that could change meaning.

I just finished a column that will be published in an Italian manufacturing magazine. Educated Europeans have been taught English. But it’s British English. I think about that when I write. Many know American colloquialisms, but I don’t want to assume that knowledge. I choose words very carefully.

The worst thing in a conversation, whether personal or in a meeting or wherever, is that you think the other person or people understood you. It is best to consider your words. It also good to ask questions to confirm understanding.

It is so easy to cause unnecessary conflict and hurt when your communication goes through a filter on the other end that changes your meaning into something else.

Above all else, strive for clarity in your communications.

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