5 Responses to “How to Make Sure People “Get” What You Are Saying”


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  1. Amy Rosenberg

    Wow, great article. You hit the nail on the head with a lot of points. I really like your ideas about checking for understanding. This made me think of many real-life examples, and also books.
    Deborah Tannen’s books are fascinating in that they deal with language style and how miscommunication occurs. I remember once a friend of mine was complaining about how some coworkers are so rude, because they don’t say “Hi” when they pass you in the hall. I told her that in one of Tannen’s books, it talks about that same situation, and how some people don’t say “hi” because they don’t want to intrude on your space or bother you. (Also, I think once you have said hi once or twice for the day, it can be annoying to the other person to keep hearing it over and over.) They think they are being polite and respectful. She didn’t get it, and kept complaining about them.
    Regarding the driving, yes, I know exactly what you mean. And related to this: Sometimes when I am trying to make a left turn, and I am waiting for the last car to go by before there is a big break in traffic, that “last car” starts slowing down. I start thinking, “Cmon guy, keep moving, so I can take advantage of the fact that there is a BIG SPACE behind you.” But he keeps slowing down until the guy behind HIM is almost caught up, and my “big space” has vaporized. Of course, he was trying to be nice and let me in, so I try to appreciate the intention!

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