There is so much noise and confusion in the translation of messages it can be difficult to observe the finer aspects of the communications process. Just sending a verbal or written message is no guarantee that the message is communicated effectively. The challenge is having the time to observe if proper communications took place.
Nothing is as it seems. The spoken words only account for a small fraction of communications – 7% according to expert, Professor Albert Mehrabian’s study of silent messages in the 1970s.
Perceptions and the filters people apply can ‘haze-over’ the understanding of interactions between people.
Be present with the speaker, listening and observing their story to gain a full appreciation of the wider situation.
As a professional communicator, you need to ‘sharpen the saw’ on every aspect of your communications on an ongoing basis.
So listen for what is not being said, (the emotional component) as well as what is being said and observe the total picture of the situation.
Most of all don’t jump in with your ‘better story’.