Don’t JUST Communicate to be Understood, but Communicate so as NOT to be misunderstood.
How many times has your communication with someone been MIS-INTERPRETED and the pursuing action been incorrect? I bet often.
The problem is WE think that what we say or write is simple and obvious, but the truth is there is often MORE than one literal interpretation of what you have asked or stated.
I find this to be especially true of WRITTEN communication such as emails. For a tool that has supposedly improved communication it is often the cause of much frustration, grief, confusion and mis-communication.
SO WHAT can you do about it?
- Assume NOTHING is obvious.
- Write like you are explaining it to someone who’s mother tongue is DIFFERENT to yours.
- Explain what you want and then also explain what you DON’T want.
- Go into MORE detail than you would naturally think is necessary. (Don’t go too crazy)
- Be SPECIFIC but not patronising.
- If possible, ask the recipient to REPEAT back to you in their words what you would like.
Communication can make or BREAK interactions with your staff, customers and family so treat it with respect.