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Clearly

pierced ear

“I said for you listen some more on me.”

Perfectly understandable. No? Ever considered Listener heard exactly those words?

For ages we have held ourselves above the animals because of our advanced communication system. Balderdash.

Headlines

With our ever-packed calendars we have a tendency to read the headlines and determine everything we need to know from the six to ten words someone picked out to get our attention.

Man Detained in Child Rape Case

Why is the talk around the water cooler of neutering him? The man was the child’s father. It took the police more than six hours to get to him before they asked three questions which definitively proved it was not him. Had the story led with the last two paragraphs, all of the readers would have known.

Language

The Grammar Nazi says,

Words suck.”

We write millions of words everyday. We speak nearly ten times as many as we write.  We listen to about a third as many as we speak. With all of those words, you would believe we had a pretty good grasp of language. Folderol.

Each language has foibles and is subject to operator error. Perhaps, licensing would help. On second thought, have you ever read a law? Chances are good licensing would be a fine print nightmare, subject to interpretation.

Translate

Even if we can agree we speak the same language, interpretation is the same in a single language as it is language-to-language.

Man Knocks Up Neighbor

Depending on which English-speaking country you are in the man:

A. Visited his neighbor

B. Impregnated his neighbor

C. Pummeled his neighbor

Toss out the cultural phenomenon of idioms and adages, and we are still left with the conundrum of misunderstanding. The meanings of the words are important.

Form

A daughter asked her mother for a review for a poetry collection. The mother refused. The daughter inquired, “Why?”

I don’t understand poetry.”

The stunned silence was one of incredulity. The mother was college-educated, a lifelong climber at the top of the corporate ladder and emotionally connected to the daughter. It was not that the mother could not understand; she had been conditioned to believe the formatting, rhyme and meter were beyond her understanding.

Answer

What helps solve the communication malfunctions, abuse and disconnects?

Less

1. Fewer words.

Being succinct leaves less room for interpretive error. Succinctness makes us more specific. Specificity is the rule.

2. Less talking.

One of the main  consequences of speaking less is more listening. It gives us more opportunity to figure out if Listener understood.

3. Less rush.

By taking the time to read or listen, we have a better understanding of the message being conveyed. If all we needed were headlines, we would not need 24-hour news channels. We could get all our news from Twitter.

How often do others confuse your communication? Do you know someone you never understand? Why do we insist on drawing conclusions without the whole story?

Hashtags: #communication #understanding

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© Red Dwyer 2013
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28 Comments

  1. I know someone that hears the first two words and goes into tantrums, then wonders why they are being called an idiot. I believe to listen they have to actually shut up and let you finish what you are saying, but stapling mouths shut does not automatically open the ears…..oh and that pesky law against torture gets in the day.
    laurie recently posted..Running Behind and BackwardsMy Profile

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    • Most people listen to four before forming a response. I believe this one needs to be the subject of the standard babysitting kit: duct tape, staple gun, 20 gauge wire…

      Reply
  2. Talk less, listen more. It works.
    Binky recently posted..Saving for a HouseMy Profile

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  3. The trouble that often arises from communicating hassles is the lack of concentration or interest in what someone is actually talking about, indeed one often rushes into an answer without having heard the question, which is absolutely crazy 🙁

    It is the same thing with blogging, how many times have you read a comment and thought has this person even read what I wrote, or have they simply filtered the responses from other comments on the page?

    It is ridiculous in this day and age that these mistakes happen on a regular basis, and not all of them are mistakes, they are simply easy way outs instead of listening, reading or paying attention to what is actually being offered.

    Have a lovely day today Red 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    Reply
    • Far too many times I see those whose comments are not about what is posted. It is sometimes even an attempt to hijack the post to go in a completely different direction. Frankly, my more uplifting posts garner these from the Negative Nellies. One day, I will convince the majority they have two ears and one mouth for a reason. 😉

      Reply
  4. After reading about less words and being succinct, I’m limiting this comment to… well said, Red!! : )
    Mark Armstrong recently posted..Baby Handed Off Into Next Apartment, Scores Touchdown, Becomes PresidentMy Profile

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