Ever experienced getting dumbfounded trying to send a message across to someone? It didn’t matter how hard you tried changing approaches, how you rephrased your statements, or how you already simplified your explanation, but the other person still just won’t get it. Did you happen to find out what seems to have caused this sudden lapse in effective communication?
In situations like these, you would find that the other person just couldn’t care less. Oftentimes, you just have to crow out aloud or deep inside “you need to understand!” It can be a frustrating experience indeed; but let’s have a quick look at a few symptoms when that communication barrier starts getting in between you and your audience. We need to know these symptoms so that once we experience them, we can address them right away.
One symptom of failing to communicate is when you feel very frustrated that your audience is repeatedly not getting your point. In addition, another symptom of such is when you begin to feel defensive about your own perspectives. Furthermore, another very common symptom is that both parties get stuck in a conversation and neither person would budge. Another symptom of failing to communicate is when you’re beginning to view your opinions as ‘right’ and the other person’s wrong. Finally, you begin to approach a conflict with a ‘winner take all’ attitude rather than coming up with a ‘win-win’ situation.
The reason behind this frustration is our constant yearning to be acknowledged. We always want our opinions to be heard, and our point of view considered. We always need to feel esteemed, our contributions cherished, and our values supported as we try to influence other people in meaningful ways.
However, forcing your point of view to be recognized by others rarely does the job. In fact, it can even be counterproductive, as assertiveness might even turn into aggression. Perhaps the key to making ourselves heard is to change our mindset to us understanding rather than being understood.
Having this idea enacted is guaranteed to turn the tables. Shifting our direction from trying to win people over to focusing on the way we are communicating with the other person, takes our mindset from being me-centric, into looking at the relationship as a whole.
By concentrating our focus to understanding the other person, we’re sending out a signal that we’re also concerned with what that person thinks. Through this empathy, we can view things from the other person’s perspective. We can get to learn about their own beliefs, biases, personality, and attitude. Demonstrating this empathy also shows that we know how to effectively communicate; and it also shows that we are also willing to come up with a ‘win-win’ situation.