Speak in a language understood
Posted: May 17, 2019
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela
With the passing of Nelson Mandela recently, it seems appropriate to highlight some of his philosophies. And while we will most likely never be called on to free a nation, his quote above can have impact for each of us in our daily lives. How many of us take the time to think through the language that will most easily be understood by the people we are communicating with?
Most of the time conflict seems to stem more from a perception someone has of the way we speak rather than the content of what we say. Taking time to show this level of respect for the people we are communicating with increases the rapport we will have with them and our chance for a positive outcome.
Have you ever had a conversation with a child, coworker, family member or friend who completely misses the point of what you were trying to convey? By spending a little more time in understanding who you are talking to, what their wants and need are, you will spend less time in untangling the mess created from misunderstandings.
In school, I teach children that 97 percent or more of bullying is psychological and only 3 percent or less is physical. My guess is that in when it comes to business and politics it is probably somewhere around the same. Understanding of another is the best chance we have of transcending the problems we face in our homes, schools and country. Create the habit of investing time in advance of communication to be sure you are speaking to both the head and the heart.
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