The challenge for most people is to remember the point of speaking is to communicate.
Too often we put the onus of understanding what we are saying on the listener. And what we end up with is frustration and a “failure to communicate!”
As someone who speaks and thinks in four languages, (English, Spanish Hindi, and German) – there is always a better word, and sometimes the word spills out, and often it is not in the main language of the listener.
Our focus is to say our piece, to be heard, and not necessarily to be understood. Here are a few things that helps to be heard and understood:
- Pay attention to the silence or stare at the beginning, which means you have their attention, use the opportunity use it properly.
- Pay attention to the listener, let them know if you plan to take notes, in addition inform them when you have missed or misunderstood a point.
- Invite the listener to interrupt you if something you say is unclear. Be prepared to repeat yourself.
- Do not expect acceptance or agreement with your point of view.
- Know when to close and “get out of dodge” if the conversation starts going downhill.
My thoughts: Instead of thinking that I have the right to be understood, I simply think that there are four languages, in which I can get reasonably good verbal directions, as I am dreadful at following maps!