The meaning of your communication is the response you get.
It doesn’t matter what you meant to say, the meaning comes from how the listener hears and responds to it. Which also means that your intentions, good or not, are beside the point.
When people first read this they often say: wait, what? – Isn’t communication a two-way street? Aren’t both people responsible? Isn’t it a 50/50 deal?
Well, not really and here is the reason why. You are 100 percent responsible for getting your meaning across in the way you want it to be understood.
The good news is, if each person takes 100 percent of the responsibility for their communication, you could have as much as 200 percent effort doing into clear communication! And even if the other person, doesn’t know or embrace this concept, and they think they’re just responsible for 50 percent, you still have 150 percent effort in place.
When you embrace this presupposition, you are committing to listening to the response and asking for feedback to clarify your communication.
This creates an opportunity for someone to really get you, for you to be truly understood–which can be difficult with this imprecise language of ours.
So now you thinking – But I can’t control anyone’s response! That’s true, and if you want to convey a particular idea, whether it’s a complicated plan, or your feelings for someone, it’s important for you to communicate in a the other person can hear and understand you.
You can pay attention to how he or she processes information. You can ask for feedback. You can well, let me explain it this way.
OK, so imagine you’re in Italy (a place most people knwo I love) and you want to find a grocery store. You can ask in English, with the intention to find out where the nearest grocery store is, but if the person you’re asking doesn’t speak English, they can’t understand you. It’s not their fault.
So what do you do? You simply adjust your communication and do your very best to speak in Italian.