Does what you say matter more than how you say it? This is the age-old question that many people have concerning verbal communication. This dilemma seems to arrest people as they are trying to verbalize their feelings in order to get their point across. There is a huge discrepancy between the way people generally process the information they hear as opposed to the way they communicate their thoughts. Factors often exist when there is a breakdown in the communication process that are often overlooked such as culture, ethnicity, education, economics, a person’s mental condition, preferences, etc. These factors should not be undermined as though they are not important to proper communication. If a person desires to get their point across without causing a ruckus, it will prove to be a wise investment of time to learn communication skills. Especially if you are married, where most of your communication battles will occur, this is the ideal dialogue for you.
The Communicator’s Aim:
The person communicating should immediately take into account the aforementioned factors. This is not an assumption of one’s intelligence, but rather wisdom. The communicator’s aim should be to be understood. If a person attends any of my business conclaves, they can easily discern that I do not use big words to try to impress the people in attendance. My aim is not to impress, but to impress upon them the importance of the information given. I like to hold my audiences with my verbal skills not lose them.
Communication Problems in Marriage:
When married couples have communication problems, it is usually because they have established a non-verbal communication basis that they have not mastered. Assumptions are made because of previous misunderstanding and therefore instead of clearly communicating their thoughts to one another they give out singles that are rarely caught or understood. If you find yourself often saying, “I thought you meant…,” this response is an indication that you clearly have a communication problem.
A Communication Problem:
Some years back, there was a movie that Paul Newman starred in entitled, Cool Hand Luke. The character Paul Newman was playing was a rebel young man that often found himself in trouble with the law. He ended up in a back-woods prison surrounded by swamp and venomous snakes. The Warden would often inform the prisoners that if they tried to escape, they would both be recaptured and returned to be brutally beaten to serve as a reminder to not attempt to escape again or the swamp would kill them before they could escape to freedom. One day, Paul Newman’s character escaped, but was later captured and returned to the prison to resume his sentence. This is when the Warden spoke the famous phrase, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” As a young man, I loved the phrase but I did not fully understand it until later in my years. What was meant was if you continue to do the opposite of what is spoken, obviously there is a misunderstanding.
Body Language Speaks Loudly:
Oftentimes, when words or phrases are misunderstood, it is usually because what is said may have a different meaning or connotation to the listener. The second reason for the possible misunderstanding could be, and in most cases is, when what is said does not correspond with the tone and facial expression when it was spoken. Therefore, the person may not have heard what you said because they were engulfed by how you said it. This is a major problem in marriage and sometimes in business board meetings. Identifying the problem is a third of the solution. However, knowing what to do with your new discovery is another part of the solution. Having the humility to place priority on the importance of getting and receiving an understanding, is far better and advantageous than gratifying your frustrations.
Clarification of a Solution:
Take your time, be patient, because the person you may be talking to, may have a legitimate hearing impairment. Communication is the basis to life. General simple verbiage gives you a far better percentage of being understood than speaking in an extra extensive vocabulary that may not impress anyone but you.