Distorting what you say is easy for some.

Your attention  has been brought to how we might distort information. It is obviously important to question information that is processed by us and ensure that we have the most accurate interpretation and best outcome for our needs. In the same way we need to ensure that we minimize the possibility of distortion occurring with the message received by another person.

All too often information that we intend to give to another person is misunderstood. The meaning of any communication is the one received not the one transmitted. It is as important to be understood by others as to be understood. The information that we communicate is as likely to be distorted, deleted and generalized by others as it is for us. More on the subject of deletion and generalization to come in future postings.

Accepting that for the most part, the tone of our voice is what takes precedence in most communications, it is the element of distortions that occur in others that we are discussing and I would like to give some clarity to this matter. It is not uncommon to have someone say “thats not what they said” or “thats not how I heard it”.  They are right, the mind will twist the information to make it fit in with what makes sense to them. If we want information to be received as we had intended it, we need to stop assuming that the message spoken is enough.

Asking someone else to repeat what was said can be a bit tricky. It is wise to keep your intended message clear and simple, avoid ambiguity and with words that are commonly used and understood. Use reflective language and encourage the other person to express their understanding of your communication. Keep in mind that you can not, not, communicate. So your communication may as well be accurate and in keeping your your goals.

In the book I wrote with Lyndy some years back (Gold Counselling – A structured Psychotherapeutic approach to the mapping and realigning of belief systems), we included that “the words we use mean more than we mean by using them”.  On the deepest level this applies to our projections and internal map of the world, on a more surface level it can also imply that we are not necessarily communicating what we think we are communicating.

More to follow.