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Watch What I Say? Watch How You Hear!

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When communicating something difficult, or even something simple, the delivery comes from the lips of one person’s personal point-of-view. It’s not about opinion, it’s not about truth, it’s not about being wrong or right, it is only a phrase born from the combined forces of an individual’s heart, mind, education, socialization, culture, and personal experiences.

They have bitterness in their heart, there’ll be traces of bitterness. If there is hurt, traces of hurt. If there is love, you’ll sense that too. If they’ve read a lot about psychology, science, technology, history, religion, then those influences might also be felt or expressed. Whether a high school dropout, or a university grad, there is little difference. Education takes many forms in life, and many people pursue education – learning new things, enhancing their ability, knowledge, etc., and you’ll discover these flavours influencing their words. Along with all this, the relationships that influenced will have left more to further colour the point-of-view – the perspective – and now the jambalaya is almost complete.

Delivering a query, statement, or anything at all verbally, the risk doesn’t end with speaking. All that has been described about the speaker shaping and giving voice to those words is equally true of the listener. The heart, mind, education, socialization, culture, and personal experiences of the listener will also colour how they hear and what they interpret for meaning. I see it happen far too often. I’ve stumbled in articulating and finding the words that will empower the freedom we both look for, combined with equal portions of win-win. Sometimes, that olive branch is so elusive.

The smart people know it is still there, and continue striving to build the bridge of understanding. Though not at the expense of their well-being, or the others involved. Everything in life – from relationships to work – is a two-way street. Aren’t we all looking to be involved in two-way streets with most things in life? I admit, I try to get my-way street sometimes too, though most of the time, I’m into the win-win. Communication, asking questions, listening, and enquiring deeper are the only roads I know to work consistently.

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