Written by Telana Simpson

The meaning of your communication is the response you get.

This must be one of the most empowering presuppositions I have come across in the wealth of information available about communicating. It’s an idea that when taken on board, leaves you in a place of choice, feeling empowered and able to take responsibility for your communicating.

A couple communicating in a responsible wayInformation comes at you and is taken in through your senses, filtered through your expectations and perceptions, and you then make a mental “movie” of how you perceive the situation. You then respond with sending information back, which is taken in by the other person, and filtered through their unique set of expectations and perceptions, to create a mental movie in their mind. They then respond back to you, and the process begins again. This is the basics of communication: an exchange of information.

What makes communication such a challenge at times, is we do not have the ability to read other peoples minds. So we don’t ever know what mental movie they are playing in their heads. The only way we can know what kind of movie they created after they filtered through the information we ‘sent’, is by what ever information they respond with to us.

In other words, we can only really know how another person understood what we tried to communicate with them from the response they give us. It’s their response that lets us know if our communication was effective or ineffective. Despite what was intended as the message in the communication, we can only know what that person understood by how they respond to us. The feedback is so useful.

For example, if you ask someone to bring you some tea, and they bring you a box of tea leaves, when you meant a cup of hot, sweet tea, then you know that the message you gave was not clear enough, and was ineffective. You can then take the responsibility to be more specific in your request for a cup of hot tea with two sugars, leading to more effective communication, and an outcome closer to what you intended.

Taking this approach and kind of responsibility for your communication means that you always have the option to make changes in your communication until you get your outcome.

You’ll be more likely to give up trying and blame others for not understanding, if you only take partial responsibility for your communication. Where as if you take 100% responsibility, knowing that the meaning that is actually conveyed is the response you get, your communication will improve significantly.

To you creating communication excellence!

Learn more about these kinds of presuppositions at the next Communication Excellence course.

About the Author:

Telana is a dynamic, transformational Personal Coach and Blogger who specializes in communicating and relating.  She is fascinated by consciousness evolution and goes on adventures to push her boundaries and preconceptions.  She offers coaching and training programmes to help individuals develop their ability to express themselves and their potentials and is a host of an online TV show