Communication and the Lack Thereof

This week I relearned the hard truth that communication issues, whether in the form of misunderstandings or lack of actual questions or answers, has very real impact in our lives. Assumptions are made by each party in any conversation; one that the communicator assumes the listener understands, and two that the listener gets what the other person is trying to say. Too often, though, we find we’re not very good at saying what we meant to say. Nor are we always consistent about getting clarification. I wonder how different my life would be if I just asked one more question or used another word to explain something.

A friend has once said that 90% of the world’s problems are caused by bad communication. While this isn’t based on any definitive research, it’s very true that if we took the extra minute to be clear, life wouldn’t be so challenging sometimes.

  • The Old Man

    Two of my favorite quotes, both of which are framed in my office.

    The greatest illusion about communication is….
    that it has been achieved.
    -George Bernard Shaw

    I know that you think you understand what you thought I said, but I don’t think you realize that what I said in not what I really meant.
    – Anon