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When I was studying to become a Physical Therapist they taught us that communication between two people follows a simple sequence.
The sender follows “idea-encode-transmit”. So you think of an idea, put it in a structured sentence and blurt it out.
Then the receiver follows “receive-decode-feedback”. Which basically means that you hear something, think about what the meaning of the words is and create your own idea about that meaning.
Which leads you back to “idea-encode-transmit”, aka you respond and so it goes on. (and on and on…)
But! There doesn’t have to be any correlation between the senders encoded idea and the receivers decoded idea. Because decoding a message happens in the context of a persons experience.
So when I say “Isn’t that a lovely girl?” and yesterday she snubbed you and you dislike her, you can interpret my message in a number of ways. Maybe I’m being sarcastic, maybe I’m just commenting on her dress… So now we have static.
How can we prevent this static?
By keeping on our toes during a conversation and constantly checking to see if we’re still on the same page?Hmm, that would be the brainy way to go about this… But there’s a much easier way:
Just ask! The answer might just surprise you…
Does this make life unpredictable? yes.
But maybe it already is…
Hope this post helps you to see miscommunication not as someones fault (and certainly not your fault for misunderstanding) but as normal and part of the deal.
Just remember: When in doubt, just ask!
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