Adam: “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
Eve: “Yes, you know exactly what I’m saying.”
Adam: “Okay, that’s what I thought.”
Now that might sound okay on the surface, but do you really think either of them can say with 100% certainty what the other means?
Actually, both parties are assuming they know what the other one is saying or understanding, and yet they can have two completely different thoughts as to what the other ones point or opinion is.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
~George Bernard Shaw
This type of communication can lead to future friction. During a conversation with someone else, Adam might say “can you believe the other day Eve said, yada yada yada.” Then Eve catches wind of it and her reaction is “I never said that.”
It then becomes a case of “well that’s what I thought you meant!” All because they never clearly expressed themselves to begin with. We can easily get stuck in the habit of either communicating our thoughts or feelings indirectly, or not really communicating them at all.
You Don’t Say
Have you noticed that sometimes people assume, rather than actually ask to find out for sure? That’s not a very effective strategy is it?
“We find what we expect to find, and we receive what we ask for.”
Do either of these scenarios sound familiar?
A group of friends are hanging out in a bar, and one of them is attracted to a stranger across the room. What happens? Too often nothing happens. The person with the crush assumes that the stranger “won’t be interested” and that simple thought is paralyzing. It takes over and prevents that person from even attempting to see if the stranger (who was staring back) is interested in them also. And then, that person will feel bad about themselves, unworthy, all because of the conversation that took place in their own head.
It happens in the workplace also. Rather than ask for a promotion or a raise, someone decides beforehand that they probably won’t get it anyway, so they don’t even ask. They can go so far as to convince themselves that they aren’t worth the raise and become unsure as to why they even still have a job. Negative thoughts are like cancer spreading throughout your body , and since thoughts can lead to actual disease you might want to change your mind and change it now.
You have to communicate properly, with yourself and with others. You can’t assume that everyone understands your point of view. And why assume the worst? Remember that if you assume the worst, you’ll expect the worst and then that will attract the worst, because you then plan on the worst happening and act on it.
That’s not a very good goal, whether it’s conscious or not. Maybe we should think differently.
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
(Credited to Frank Outlaw)
All of the type of communication I described usually leads to some form of stress or regret. Why not ask? Even if you get shot down it still builds your confidence, simply because you tried. You summoned up the courage and you did it, which means you that you have it in you, and you can do it again! Then, the next time it will be even easier.
Have we forgotten that William E. Hickson said, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
Today and going forward, pay attention to your thoughts, are they negative or positive? Encourage yourself just as you would a friend or family member. Also monitor how you communicate with others. Do they get the message? And make sure not only that you’re understood but also that you understand others.
Hopefully, you understood this.
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Trainer