Ways to Stop Communication Disasters

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One of the most important reasons for lack of communication is the inability to listen. Most people have not learnt what it means to be listening to others. When a person is talking, the other person rarely listens with full attention. His mind may be wandering in the past or the future. He may be thinking of his next appointment or what happened half an hour back. There are also numerous distractions like the voice of other people, noises in the background, the whirr of the fan or the air-conditioning or sundry other ambient sounds. Sometimes people even assume what the other person is going to say and do not bother to listen to the actual conversation.

There are other complications too. Sometimes the same word is not understood in the same sense by two persons. Based on our background, education etc. we understand different nuances of the same word differently. Of course if the other person is of another nationality, the ambiguities in the language may become more complicated and quite different meanings may be assigned by two people conversing the same things. All this shows that the simple art of communication is not as simple as it appears and it requires some training to be able to communicate properly with others.

One of the biggest blocks to listening is gate keeping. This refers to our brain’s ability to filter out things we do not want to hear. We are programmed to pay more attention to matters involving threats and less attention to mundane matters as long as it does not threaten our security.

Sometimes your dress may also provide a block to meaningful conversation. For instance if you are dressed casually in jeans and tee shirt at a formal occasion the person talking to you may be distracted by your informal attire and the conversation may not flow smoothly or the attention may be lacking.

In a reverse situation if you talk to people on the street, dressed in formal attire, they may not trust you or relate to you and your conversation may fall on deaf ears. Foe meaningful conversation to take place people need to relate to each other.

It is important therefore to make sure that the other person has understood what you are trying to convey. This would mean clarifying the matter until the other person grasps it. It is for you to avoid a communication gap by being aware of these complexities in conversation.


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