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Why Every Communication in Flawed

And how to have a more effective communication.

I was recently talking with a board member of an education company and she told me she has a big desire to make a difference and share her creative ideas with her colleagues and supervisors, but the fear of being misunderstood was holding her back.

I find that’s a very common thing among emerging leaders.

What I realised is that one of the most helpful (and paradoxical) things to understand about effective communication is that every communication is fundamentally flawed.

This is good news that sounds like bad news

I will never fully comprehend how someone else sees the world from their perspective and they will never fully comprehend mine either because we all experience life through the filters of our personal thinking.

So instead of expecting others to understand me 100%, I start my communication already knowing that at some level I’ll be misunderstood

It then makes more sense to focus on what others are getting from my communication, rather than on the exact words I am saying.

At this point, my curiosity about THEM starts to grow and I begin to disappear in my conversations - which is a great sign because if I disappear, my fear fades away as well and I don’t take things personally

As I lead by curiosity, I am looking for how people make sense of the world, how they think, what words they use, what mood they’re in, how tired they are and what they say they want.

All that data I am gathering helps me adjust what I say to speak THEIR language

Understanding this at a deeper level has brought me so much more lightness and ease because I am not beating myself up anymore if someone doesn’t get my ideas

If I am not getting in my own way by taking things personally, the whole conversation becomes a game of “How are they hearing this?...What about now?” and that makes it much more effective because I am on their team helping them make sense of what is said

What helps you to have a more effective communication?

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