On Communication

Why don’t they bloody well understand?

An internal question often asked by managers and staff alike when looking at each other and considering the issues they have been asked to address.

It is natural for us to assume that the other person has understood what we’ve said and they are as clear as we are regarding the issue after we’ve said it.  More often than not, this is not the case.  Then, when things go pear shaped, they blame the other person for not understanding what it was that needed to be done.

When you think about it though, the responsibility for ensuring that the other party understands what has been said/requested rests completely with the person doing the talking or requesting.  “Assumption is the mother of all f***-ups” is an old military saying.  It is just as true in business and personal life. 

When things have gone wrong, I have asked countless times to myself, our team, customers, wife, child, friends and others – “did they hear or were they just listening?”

We need to ensure that our communication is not only clear and to the point, we need to make sure that the recipient of the communication has actually understood what it is we’re talking about.  The “miscommunication muckup” occurs more often than you would think.

So, when it comes time to communicate effectively, make sure that the other person has not on listened, not only heard, but also understood what you’re on about.  This will save frustration, stuff ups and create a better environment for everyone.

Because they bloody well understood.

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