Clarity is a thing of management beauty and communication has little if anything to do with it. I know this sounds crazy, but stick with me as I walk you through the logic.
We talk, we write, listen and read. This is what we call communication. We assume the talking and writing we are doing is the most important part of communication—wrong! The most important element is knowing how the other person’s mind is informing them, not you. What you communicate is always filtered through their knowledge, beliefs, bias and past experience. What they hear is what their mind tells them about the words and emotional tone you are using. Metaphorically speaking--this is how people can make a handshake into a cobra and a hug into a wrestling match. With the best of intentions you can be taken wrongly. You can expect a certain response and get the opposite. This is how well intentioned employees can go off and do wrong things undermining organizational efficiency and quality. Communication is a myth because the most important factor and target of the savvy manager is the other person’s “understanding,” not their own communication.
Understanding happens when one person’s mind attunes to the other person’s intent. This doesn’t mean agreement, and often this is the case—but this type of attunement is the basis of an effective conversation, problem solving and real alignment. These are seldom achieved by telling. Understanding takes much more work than that. If you follow the guidelines below you will be able to improve understanding to achieve clarity.
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