Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where Does Communication Take Place, Really?

You may be mentally rehearsing what you're going to say, or that great answer to an email, but you need to keep this critical piece of information in mind: Communcation does not happen in your mind; it happens in the other person's mind.

You've probably had the frustrating experiencing of saying one thing, and that message being totally misconstrued, perhaps so far as to be interpreted as precisely the opposite of what you intended!

Well, probably there is something wrong, not with what you're saying, but with the relationship. You know people who are hurt, angry, depressed, mad, and disappointed, tend to read the most negative interpretation possible of a message. The converse is also true; but a positive interpretation is probably the most helpful to you, even if some argue that's not being "realistic."

So, the next time you're experiencing a frustrating "misunderstanding" -- try to get to the bottom of the relationship issue. Ask the other person if something is bothering, or if that person feels offended for some reason.

It's not what you say, it's what the other person interprets that communicates.