Is this what I’m really saying when I tell someone “Say what you mean?” What’s more frustrating? That I didn’t understand your meaning, or that you didn’t mean what I thought you meant? It’s likely you said exactly what you meant, but I heard it through my own filter. So, where does the responsibility lie?
You made a statement and knew exactly what you meant. I think I heard every word you said, but arrived at a totally different understanding. If we stop there, we’ll never truly communicate. No one’s fault, really, if we’re living by sound bites. But if we want to have a conversation, we need to take time to clarify our ideas.
I saw an acronym once for TALK. I don’t remember where I saw it, but it stuck with me.
Tell. Ask. Listen. Keep an open mind.
As I continue my blog, some of my thoughts will be perfectly tame, and some perhaps a bit dangerous. But they’ll be my thoughts. Hopefully, I’ll say them as I mean them, but they may need some clarification. Especially if you disagree.
Let’s take the time to not only say what we mean, but to hear and understand each other’s meaning. Dialogue is not a debate. There’s only a winner when there’s no loser.