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Our world has become a mass of communication. Technology enables us to communicate with people through the written word, pictures and illustrations, and video/computer "phones" instantaneously. We can access our friends, business associates, and loved ones around the block or around the globe with ease and often at little, to "no," expense. Yet...even as science has made it easier to "touch" those we care about, how we do it (from a interaction standpoint) really hasn't changed much.

I think every one of us has run into communication problems at least once in our lives...I know - it's probably more like once a week or once a day, but...these types of problems are avoidable. Here are 6 "Insights" that I'm sure will help you communicate better, or understand situations so that they "don't get out of control."

1. Never assume that the other person knows what you're thinking.

Yep...that's right! While you may think we're all telepathic - eh...we're not! Hoping that someone interprets your moods, actions, and suggestions without actually telling him or her what you mean is a formula for disaster. Far too many business and personal relationships have been damaged by one person assuming that the other person knew what they were thinking.

2. Never assume that the other person can help you in the exact way you want.

Superman is fictional. That's a fact! You may want to hop on his back and travel to another country or across the one you're in, or - get an entire chain of stores to carry your widgets, but...you might have to settle for the restaurant around the corner or the boutique in the next town. Relationships, whether business or personal, are built on trust. But, sometimes...the other person can't deliver exactly the way you'd like, even though they'd love to. Take the boutique, it may become a chain someday. Eat at the restaurant around the corner - who knows..."around the corner" may be in a different part of the world if you just hang in there!

3. Never assume that the other person completely understands what you're saying.

Be clear in what you're saying and what you want. Some people will speak in an indirect manner because they don't want to hurt someone's feeling. Yet...that "indirect approach" often winds up hurting them even more because misinterpretation builds up along the way. And certainly - never have too many intermediaries pass along your message. You know what will happen - by the time the message is "heard" by the intended party...it's completely different! Clarity is speech and/or message leads to much more defined results.

4. Never assume the other person doesn't have their own problems.

I realize that people have a tendency to think that the universe revolves around themselves. And you know what - it's true. Their universe does revolve around them! But...that holds true for everyone. Mine revolves around me, just as yours revolves around you. So, even when your asking for help, realize that the person you're calling on may be in the midst of their own problems. Always clarify that first before you move further along a track that may turn into a train wreck!

5. Never assume that the other person doesn't care.

Hey, just because he or she doesn't "drop what they're doing" right away to address your needs, doesn't mean they don't care. Even if they CAN'T address your needs at all...it still doesn't mean they don't care about you, have compassion for you, and have empathy for the situation you're in. Care isn't always visible. People react in different ways. Everyone has a different communication style, they have various motivational attributes, and no two people act alike. Sometimes the quietest demonstrate caring in ways you never thought possible and sometimes it's the loudest ones who do. Caring comes in many forms.

6. Never assume that the other person has your priorities.

We all enjoy different things. Our priorities vary greatly. To some people formal education comes before almost anything else, to others...it's learning a technical skill. Some believe that the way a house looks on the inside and out is important. To others, it's so low on their priority list it's irrelevant. The car one drives may be of paramount importance to one person, while it's meaningless to another. How a person reacts to another person's seemingly important situation may have as much to do about their view of their world as it does about anything else. So, before "freaking out" because someone doesn't see that what you deem as important is, well...important, take the time to learn about them and what is meaningful to them in THEIR lives.

And remember...until you really know who you are, it's very hard to understand others.

 



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