I do a bit of travelling about online and as a result I get invited to participate in a few different forums.  That's a good thing and I enjoy it when I've got the time to do it because I really enjoy the opportunity of sharing and exchanging ideas with like minded people.  I even enjoy it when the ideas don't necessarily agree with mine.  It's all part of the fun.

Where I've had a little concern lately is that a couple of the comments I've posted have been quite viciously attacked for a couple of comments I've made, by people whose rebuttals were saying exactly the same thing that I said in my original comments, only filtered and worded differently.  And that is quite literally the difference. 

Despite being blond, dyslexic and of Irish decent (those of you from Commonwealth countries will get that joke) I'm usually fairly precise in my communication.  I had a father who was quite strict on the issue and teachers in my middle and senior high school years who were very strict on it.  To give you a hint about how strict they could be, this was a Catholic school that continued to use the cane even after the Pope banned it.  And the dictionary of choice was not Webster's, Macquarie or Heinemann.  It was the Oxford, and it wasn't our choice it was theirs.  So despite the odd spelling or grammatical error you'll find here, you'll also find my communication to be pretty precise.  Some of you may remember a similar post to this a few weeks ago. 

Now on with my main point I suppose.  I can't be held responsible for how people react to what I say or write.  This is, in fact, one of the fundamental pre-suppositions of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.  The definition of language is with the receiver.  I have a responsibility to be as clear as I can, but that's where my responsibility begins and ends.  After that, the receiver of that communication has to sift it through their own filter. 

Ironically, the result is that I occasionally get attacked over what I've said or written and the other person's response is to argue exactly what I've said.  In other words, they are saying exactly the same thing and making exactly the same point.  The only difference is the wording, and that's because so many people have gotten into the habit of using definitions interchangeably.  There are a lot of arguments that could be ended in a millisecond if people would be more specific and accurate in their use of definitions.

And before people start hoeing into me about being right and wrong, while there is a small element of that here (I personally don't think it can be avoided in this case) the main gist of what I'm trying to say is that by using correct and specific definitions, we are not only able to, but we will definitely communicate in a way that is more accurate and understandable. 

The biggest complaint we, as professional helpers hear from people is often that nobody understands them.  That is quite a common problem.  There is also a solution that is fairly easy to implement.  Here it is:  if you want to be understood, you have to be understandable.  Sounds like I'm talking to the speaker doesn't it?  That's not necessarily who I'm talking to.

I'm talking to the person who has the weakest communication skills.  That could be either.

Perhaps this is where, at the individual, family, community and state/provincial/county and national levels, it might behoove us to return to the basics in education and communication.  It's just something I've throwing out there.

But again, I can only be responsible for the specificity of the communication I put out, and the definitions of the communications I assign to the ones I receive.
2/21/2012 14:54:30

Love this blog Jase. Have been saying the same thing for years. (With criticism in tow of course ;-) )


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    G'day everyone.  I'm an Aussie Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotist (www.americanallianceofhypnotists.org)  and author with a passion for making every relationship in our lives the best it can be.   I work at local, state, national and international levels.  I am also a Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy practitioner trained by Eugene Piccinotti TFT - dx, and I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner Level (MNLP) under Steve G Jones at the American University of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
    (http://www.aunlp.org).  In other words, as a coach, I'll use whatever I have to use to help you to make the changes you want to make.