It's a two-way street

United States
February 23, 2009 9:43pm CST
Communication is a two-way street. We've all heard that before but it seems not all understand just what that means. Recently I heard a debate on if information was misunderstood was it the fault of the listener or the speaker with resounding agreement being that it was completely the fault of the listener. This goes against all logic and understanding of communication in general. In communication we have two points: A (Speaker/Listener) and B (Listener/Speaker). And inbetween we have metacommunication. I won't go into detail in this particular post but in my article on Magical Communication I've likened the act of communicating to the Tree of Life, in terms of providing you a model for your mind in this post. You see, once something I've said as the Speaker leaves my mouth it goes through it's own pathway as it reaches the Listener. If the Listener is distracted, is thinking about what they want to say before I speak-thus causing interference, or simply isn't pay attention there are many things that get lost. This occurs online as well in written communication even though the medium is slightly different. Now, just because the Listener does not understand or misunderstands what I've said as the Speaker does not mean that it was the Listeners fault. Let us say that the Listener asked for clarification. I the Speaker now become the Listener and again all of those things could occur to me now as the Listener. If they do not occur I can then provide the Listener with a response, thus becoming the Speaker again, hopefully clarifying the misinformation. The bottom line is that it is the responsibility of the Listener to ask for clarification on the given subject, and it is the responsibility of the Speaker to provide said clarification on the given topic. However this does not mean that because the Listener and Speaker do not agree on said topic that either one has miscommunicated or misunderstood. We must come to an understanding that we as humans will not always agree on everything. And that is what makes life so interesting. Namaste-Anora
1 response
@MsTickle (24983)
• Australia
26 Feb 09
I've always found that giving feedback is vital to show that you have understood...or not, whichever is the case. This is where my communication falls down. You say something to someone and they keep reading or watching TV so you say "did you hear what I said?" they say "yeah" you say "what do you think?" they say "about what?" Reading a discussion here can be just the same for some people. I believe you need to be able to read between the lines sometimes. The responder, I mean then the poster also needs to understand the responders post. I see some people being able to read between the lines really well. I can do it sometimes but not all the time.
• United States
26 Feb 09
Ms. Tickle- Thank you for your response. It's an interesting choice of words "reading between the lines" because to me that says that there is some sort of "hidden" message, which I don't agree should be in communication. Though, if you mean to say that in oral speaking we have nonverbals, then I'd say yes those do exist somewhat in the written language in loaded or packed words. And I agree, they are sometimes difficult to read, so that is why I feel it is important for the reader to ask and the speaker to clarify. Thank you again for responding. Namaste-Anora
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