Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Meaning of Your Communication

Blogging in Switzerland 

It does not matter what you thought you said or what the intention of your communication was: what matters is what your audience thinks you said and, subsequently, what they will be responding or reacting to.  --Monte III

If you intend to be a more effective communicator, then you will want to take responsibility for the effects of your communication. If someone doesn’t “get it,” then you take responsibility for this. If they become angry or hurt and such was not your intention, you still should take the tack that you elicited this response. It was not what you were going after but there was something in your demeanor, your language, or your energy that caused this person to respond as he did. Who knows: maybe you reminded him of an ex-spouse or an abusive parent.  

Taking responsibility for the responses you get from other people gives you an incredible degree of flexibility and power. If it is always them, if it is always their fault or their choice, then you will maintain your present strategy for communicating—and you will get nowhere. If you sense that you are not moving in the direction of your outcome then change directions.

If the potential customer is “resisting” your sales pitch, it is you that must change strategies.

If a client is suspicious of your motives, then you are either eliciting this suspicion or you have as yet to discover a communication strategy for inspiring trust.

If she doesn’t feel loved, he doesn’t feel you care for him, or they don’t feel respected, and you intended just the opposite, own this as what you communicated and seek out other strategies for expressing your mind and heart.

Repeat after me: “It is never them … it is always me.”

When I suggest taking responsibility, I am not speaking of moral failure, here. You didn’t do anything “wrong.” You did something that took you in a direction you didn’t intend. Own it and the possibility for attaining your outcomes remains.

I am not suggesting that there isn’t someplace down the road where the responsibility comes to rest upon the other person. However—h-o-w-e-v-e-r—as long as you take responsibility, you maintain a place of power, choice, and for attaining your outcome. As soon as you say to yourself, “It is them—it is their stupidity, foolishness, bad attitude, closed mindedness, thin skin, or unbelief”—the odds of your attaining the intended outcome are miniscule. How long do you take responsibility, while continuing to seek after your outcome? It depends on how important your outcome is to you.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2013 

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