Talk Is Cheap For A Reason

Communication is a decidedly difficult process.  Human language is a personal thing and it does not always lead us to the same place.  It pays to recognize important aspects of that problem.

The story that follows makes clear that we cannot agree on what the word “slow” means.  It takes some enthusiasm to carry it to the end these people did, but nonethless a failure to communicate.  The story is on and you will need to scroll down a little to the byline Carol Attenborough.  Examples of poor word choice leads to misundertsandings or war.

Not  everything is that extreme.  I recall being pulled from a basketball game because another player missed a pass I made, “You should have known he couldn’t catch it”

Successful communication relies on the sender recognizing some simple facts.

  1. In their own terms, the recipient does not understand what you do, and little of what you say.
  2. Words mean different things to different people.
  3. Communication cannot be one-sided.  There must be questions, and clarification and repetition.
  4. If a communication fails it is the sender’s fault.

I saw this graphic the other day and it will help you understand the problem.  Given this, it is a wonder we can communicate at all.



Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

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One Response to Talk Is Cheap For A Reason

  1. Mike says:

    As Maya Angelou said, “people will forget what I tell them, they will forget what I show them, but they won’t forget how I made them feel’ (or something to that effect). This needs no explanation.

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