“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
— George Bernard Shaw
I was involved in a situation recently that went something like this:
1) Someone offered me an explanation of a process.
2) I followed up with a presentation based on that explanation.
3) That someone rejected my follow-up presentation with an explanation that contradicted her original explanation.
How’s that for a communication mishap? I went from clarity & understanding to being puzzled & frustrated. It seems I was under the illusion that actual communication had taken place.
This is bound to happen from time to time and can’t always be avoided. Perhaps a preventative measure is being mindful of any assumptions being made. That’s when a good question comes in handy. “My understanding of your request is . Is that accurate?” Sadly, though, sometimes the assumption being made is that the other person is being honest and genuine. There’s not always a preventative measure for that.
Have you been under any illusions lately?