When I speak or write, my goal is to be heard and understood. I dont need to be agreed with, that's only an added bonus. Most of the time, I feel I'm being very clear. I really do. It makes perfect sense to me. And therein lies the problem. I am not communicating to me. If I am to be effective, I have to better understand the party receiving my communication. And that takes a lot more work.
I refer to this challenge because lately I've been running into problems as I communicate with various co-workers and members. Sometimes it's with someone who isn't a native English speaker. Sometimes it's with a coder/engineer type who speaks in their own technical language. Other times it's with a designer who uses another set of terms. Even members can be a frustrating group because they don't want to read instructions or follow guidelines no matter how clear they are.
The first challenge is translating your thoughts to words. Your brain has a history of experience and context it's basing your words off. The receiver of your communication doesn't share that, so they will always be at a disadvantage trying to understand you.
Compounding that dynamic, online you are only using typed words. Effective communication is so much more than typed words. In person you can express a feeling, or context to your words. There is a whole host of body language that accompanies the words. Without those nuances to help you interpret the words, misunderstandings can easily occur. For instance, sarcasm has always been notoriously difficult to communicate online.
Relating this discussion to poker. You are told to tell a convincing story when you play. But if your opponent doesn't pay attention, the story can go on deaf ears. They may not speak the same language as you, or misinterpret the story you are telling. There is no guarantee that your efforts will be rewarded. That is why they indicate to play ABC tight poker when playing newer, low stakes players. Until you build up a shared language that you all understand, it isn't wise to try to be fancy in your communication. Trying to understand how they play individually, why they make the moves they do, will serve you better.
Lesson learned. I need to pay more attention to the audience and their particular qualities. It would help if they would contribute their part, but that doesn't absolve my responsibility.
In honor of today's blog, I'm putting up a video by the Raconteurs, called "You Don't Understand Me"