“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
~ Anthony Robbins
At our upcoming conference we have to charge for the hotel tables used by authors at our autograph party. We decided to charge those who wanted a whole table or half table for themselves. Those who were willing to sit 3 to a table, we wouldn’t charge.
As an added courtesy, the Prez said tables for speakers are free. So I told speakers their tables are free. In my mind I saw a whole table.
Tables are free = whole table . . . to me.
Now for his take on what he said. He said tables for speakers are free – meaning, we will sit 3 speakers per table. But he didn’t say that. However, in his mind he figured I’d know that the room couldn’t fit enough tables to let each speaker have their own table.
He figured wrong.
When he clarified what he meant, I thought, “Big deal. We are doing that for anyone willing to squeeze in 3 to a table. Free = you don’t have to pay what it costs others.”
Communication is more than words. It is our perceptions, our experience, our personal “filter” of logic. That is the catalyst of most arguments. Someone says one thing and we hear another. And it doesn’t have to be verbal either. Misunderstanding the tone of an email can ruin our day.
For communication problems of this nature I have a few suggestions:
1. Don’t assume anything.
2. Say to the person, “This is what I hear you saying. Am I right?”
3. If it is a misunderstanding, get it straight and laugh it off.
This week if there is a glitch in your communication remember your filter, your lens of understanding is uniquely your own. You may have to readjust to get the clear picture!