We struggle to communicate because we use different definitions for the same words. Until we create a common definition of terms, until we calibrate our communication, we will continue to misunderstand each other.
This calibration boils down to the fundamentals of communication. Words like “good”, “fine”, and “great” end up being throw aways in our culture because I don’t have any idea what you mean when you say, “I’m good”. Based on your definition you may be surviving, where by my definition I would mean you are thriving. We have missed each other in terms of communicating.
Unfortunately this happens to us all the time. Ranking frustration on a scale of zero to ten on a scale (zero being no frustration, ten being enraged), a level of three on my scale has a different description than your level three. Until we create a common definition of terms, it is difficult to understand fully.
So how to calibrate?
It is important to SLOW DOWN when we are having meaningful conversations!
It is vital to ASK when you aren’t sure what someone means.
If you aren’t being heard, it is important to PAUSE and take the time to CLARIFY.
The more SPECIFIC we can be in our descriptions of feelings or thoughts, the easier it is to calibrate. Using “angry” to describe all levels of frustration creates a very broad definition that is difficult to calibrate.
Where is your communication not calibrated with someone else? Where are you being vague? Who do you communicate with regularly where a definition of terms would improve understanding and communication? There are significant benefits for your employees, clients, coworkers, family, and friends if you a hear them more accurately and feel heard yourself? Time to define terms! – www.rhoadcoaching.com
finding meaning and purpose in daily life