September 27, 2010

Humble Lessons in Communication - Perspective of Personal Reality Affects the Understanding of the Message

Communication. It was one of my concentrations in college. Practicing it well is something I'm interested in. And Terry Linhart told me I should write regularly about it. So, this will be, hopefully, a regular institution here at

I'd like to consider myself a practitioner of communication because of the many ways that I utilize effective communication in such varied settings. Whether it's Public Address, Mastering the Ceremonies, preaching, radio, promotions, or just effectively communicating inter-personally, Communication seems to have a very real presence in my life. Because of these things, there are a few humble lessons that I have learned that have helped me refine and recreate myself time and time again to be better and more effective.

Before anyone can begin to effectively communicate with a group of individuals or an individual, they must recognize that every single person has their own perspective on the reality of their own history. Did you catch that? If you want to truly connect with a person, you have to realize that every person that walks the face of this planet has their own conglomeration of thoughts and experiences that shape the way that they see the world and the history of their own life in that world. That means that in no way shape or form should you expect to say one thing and every single person receive the context, connotation and concept that you might have in your mind whenever you decide to open your mouth.

This is so difficult to work through that, at times, it's just plain not worth it. In some settings, you may never be able to relate a certain truth that you may know is true, but understanding the context in which that is true takes an inordinate amount of time to wade through someone's misunderstanding of the topic. Other times, we take way too much time working through the definitions of a topic in order to help someone understand the context that while they might not be able to understand, they don't need to in order to understand the message and the truth.

I've seen this in the messages that are printed for me to read at ballgames to the way that things are reported on the news. From the messages that I have watched or listened to of preachers all over the world to the messages that I have prepared myself. There is a great deal of care that goes into making sure that each message is heard and heard in the way that they are intended.

This is the reality. If you want someone to hear what you are saying to them, you have to either do your homework, or do the work to meet on some common ground. Because if you're like me, you want people to hear the message that you are sharing not merely listen to it.

So, this week, take some extra time. Prepare well, realizing that every single person has their own perspective on the reality of their own history.

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