How many times have you been a meeting with someone to have them take your words and regurgitate them back into a message that is completely off topic from your original idea?
Once a Month?
Once a Week?
Once a Day?
When you look at those missed interactions, how often is it the same person or group of people?
How about when the message is targeted at people you know vs those you don’t?
What is your medium you are using to create the message? Email, Text, Whitepaper, etc?
In all these scenarios, on a constant basis, we are engaged in mass forms of communications from the time we wake up to the time go to bed. What works for one, might not work for the other. How you interact with one person varies significantly from how you interact with a group.
In each case, you should always check yourself at the beginning and end of discussion – did you get from this message what I was hoping you were going to get? Did all the takeaways I leave you with really happen? Repeat back to me how you are going to address this problem.
It’s not a matter of being rude or asking someone – “I want you make sure you understand what I asked of you” – but rather ensuring that the message you wanted to send was received and understood – no context that influenced it, no room for interpretation – just a simple “Got It”. The most significant break-down in communications generally occurs when there are two conflicting ideas and one does not want to listen to the other’s side.
At that point of juncture in the conversation, the message has now evolved into my idea over yours and the message has evolved into that of a battle instead of a discussion. What we hoped to have delivered is no longer going to happen because now we’re sending a completely different message.
This one example, where the message can become tainted, lost and replaced with something else. Next time you are not able to get your point of view across take a good hard look at the message you were trying to send, and the one you actually did.