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October 12, 2021

Take a moment to think about how you talk with someone who does not speak the same language(s) as you.  What do you do?  Slow down, pick simpler words, gesture more animatedly, speak in short/direct sentences?  Probably some, if not all of those.  

Cross language communication is one of the best examples, that most people can relate to, of taking responsibility for your listener receiving your message.  

We are much more sloppy when we are talking to people who share our language.  And, we frequently blame the other for not "getting" what we meant.  As if it is their job to know all the subtlety of your gestures, intonation, and intent.  It is not.

So here’s the hot tip to hone your skills at helping your listener understand your message and its intent, regardless of the language you’re speaking:  Frame what you want to say by adding an extra sentence or two before you begin.  Give the listener the direction they need to know how you want them to listen.  

It could be something as simple as:
I am saying this because I want our relationship to be more honest than it has been, _________
I am trying to convince you to change your mind about _________
I’m looking for your advice about___________
I don’t want your advice.  I just want you to know ___________

Whether you are looking from a business perspective or personal perspective, most people will say the reason something didn’t work was a breakdown in communication.  It is all too common to put the burden of understanding on our listeners.  It is up to us to follow up, ask questions, and be as clear and understandable as possible.  The quality of your communications and your relationships will change dramatically if you attend to this.

To taking care of your listener!

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Since 1978 Workability has been helping individuals and organizations integrate who they are with what they do. Our greatest performances, relationships, and contributions are dependent on our authentic expression of who we are.

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