Say What You Mean

man in brown long sleeved button up shirt standing while using gray laptop computer on brown wooden table beside woman in gray long sleeved shirt sitting
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It’s it funny how we expect everyone to understand what we’re saying, but in reality, we don’t.

Over the past few weeks my wife and I have once again faced that reality even after 33 years of marriage.

We were on vacation and I was talking to her about going to antique stores and looking for an antique typewriter. She responded, “but I don’t have a trunk!” (We were driving her Toyota Rave4) I looked back at her and responded with a kind of gruff: “what does that mean?” I’m thinking how in the world is that relevant to looking for antiques???? She responded, “if we find one, and buy it, it can’t be hidden in a trunk!” And I’m thinking, “why didn’t she just say that in the first place????”

This happens all the time in the world of work and organizational life. We say things that we think are obvious and evident, but the people we are communicating with have no idea what we’re talking about nor what our reference point is.
This is serious stuff! Employees have been known to be fired by their superior because they didn’t follow their directive, when in reality they had no idea what their superior was talking about or expecting.

Here’s are some keys to clear communication:
-answer a question straightforward
-you may need to give reasons for your answer
-say what you mean
-consider the person with whom you are communicating and their reference point
-if you have expectations, communicate them, don’t assume people know what your expectations are.

Following these simple communication guidelines will limit miscommunication and create better relationships at work and at home.

If you would like to become a more effective leader and avoid the many traps just waiting to trip you up, I invite you to purchase my new book, Leadership Qualities People Crave. You can purchase at this site under products or follow the link www.johnelzinga.com/products


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