Communication is a two-way street.
Communication without understanding each other is equal to not communicating, it is just speaking.
Understand what the other person has to say and then speak to react.
An example from my life. Once while on trekking in the mountains, me and my friend were having a good talk.
Suddenly out of nowhere a lady comes to us and asks ‘Would you both like to come to the lake with me?’
We both were startled because we didn’t know the lady. We both had different understandings of what the lady meant by this and we both denied.
Later I met with this lady again and it was then she told me that she was the community manager of the property wherein we were staying and it was her responsibility to show guests different places around.
When someone says something to us, we react on the basis of what we understand.
Each person reacts in a different manner, because each person’s understanding is different.
Perspective changes with understanding so does the final outcome.
Even if we have a good command over language, but we fail to understand the feelings behind the spoken words or we fail to know the reason behind saying those words, whatever a person is saying will be meaningless.
Because we react to the spoken words as per our understandingwhich need not necessarily be same as the understanding of the speaker.
So, when our parents ask us a question, we might not answer that particular question, because we reply as per our understanding of the question.
Sometimes we listen only to reply and not to understand. The biggest gap in communication: Listening to reply.
A person is clearly expressing his feelings, his thoughts in a manner for us to understand, but we build an illusion or a story of our own.
Because of this illusion and story, we fail to understand what the other person has to say. We miss on the message the other person wants to communicate.
Often it happens that we think we understood the other person but in reality, we have wasted our time in formulating the reply.
Listen to Communicate. Do not Listen to Reply.
Listen to what the other person has to say. Understand the person’s feelings, thoughts. Understand the meaning behind the spoken words.
Between Hearing and Understanding there is a void space and time. Do not get lost in the void. Do not drift off. Do not lose concentration.
We often draw conclusions from what we hear. Because we only hear and not understand. Judgements are usually drawn from hearing.
Also, we have certain presumptions in our mind that block the understanding gateway. This also leads to misunderstanding the exact conversation.
It is ok to not be on the same page with another person. It is ok to disagree with that person. But disagree only after completely understanding what is spoken.
Effective listening is a skill. It has to be learned, to be practised. Understanding what another person has to say is possible only when we listen efficiently.
There are key factors in listening to Understand: have complete attention, don’t interrupt, respond only after you understand.
Only after we understand the feelings behind a person’s saying only then we will understand the right motive, the correct meaning.
And only then we will Communicate effectively and efficiently.