I know I am! Trust me… in my overly articulated life, I find myself being misunderstood OFTEN. It’s been happening to me a lot more lately, and it’s getting to be a lot.
I’m often missunderstood when I’m watching or talking about a movie with friends and I see an analogy that just blows my mind, but when I go to share it they look at me like a dear in headlights. It happens when I see a vision for my life with scary clarity but when I go share it with my family, they give me a look as if they’re sorry for my demise and madness. It happens when I foresee trouble and I feel a certain way about chaos, but I’m thinking 10 steps ahead and they’re just thinking about the here and now. It is both the most annoying gift and it often seems like a curse.
But often, this is how leaders live. Or at the very least, start, before they get their communication skills down. But I’m a communicator, so “how can I be having trouble communicating?!” This question comes all too often to my mind and it always makes me fill like I should have studied something else. But, just after that thought, I remember that for communication to be effective you can’t just focus on the sender and the receiver. There’s a whole lot you need to think about.
Hear me out for a second. In communication, we learn that to be effective you need to think about these four important factors. And I figured I’d teach them to you (or refresh your memory) because often what seems like a total miss, is a small pivot in life. So here they are:
1. The Message
What you’re sharing, or at least trying. It’s your thoughts, visions, dreams, realizations, calculations, and everything else you think, feel, and most importantly, say to other.
Are you clear on them? It’s ok if you aren’t, but you can’t speak with certainty if you’re uncertain. On one hand, it’s ok to share your thoughts and feelings with the caveat that you’re processing them. On the other, if you’re certain about something, say it as you mean in.
It is not ok to belittle your thoughts, convictions, etc. if you know they’re pillars and you don’t plan on tearing them down. then and only then, will your message be delivered clearly.
That’s you!!! And so, you matter, and quite a lot. How are you communicating your message? Yes, it’s that again. Are you speaking with conviction? Or can people sway you easily? Are you passionate about your message or do you sound bleh about it? Who you are and how you feel will have a direct impact on how you deliver your message.
How are you delivering your message? We all know that starting or ending a relationship over text doesn’t quite work. And this is true for so many other things.
The kind of work I do requires that I reach out to potential clients constantly and one of the ways I’ve attempted to do so has been through texting. Needless to say, When it’s been through text ALONE, it hasn’t quite worked. Inversely, when I’ve taken a step back and go back to old school calling and connecting, I almost ALWAYs get results that are better than what I expected.
With a Twist
What you say, how you say it, when and where you say it, and WHY you say it. It all matters. But it also matters WHO you say it to.
Honestly, I don’t think this is spoken about enough. I mean, do you want to speak to EVERYONE? Like, why would you want to?
And yes, I sound crazy. Most of us love what we have to share and we’d like to get it to EVERYONE, but not every message is meant for everyone to hear and it’s not meant to be heard all at the same time! And for my business people, I’m not talking about a niche, even though it may sound familiar and I can see why.
What I’ve realized is that most, if not all, of the times I’ve been frustrated with sharing something and the feedback I get often happens because even though all of my elements are spot-on, who I am sharing with is not someone who is meant to hear that specific thing at that specific moment. It’s not their fault, if anything it was my fault. As a communicator, knowing your audience is crucial!!! And I don’t miss it all the time.
Not Always, but Sometimes
My mom never knows when I’m worried or sad. She’d just crawl up in a ball of sadness because she can’t fix whatever is wrong, even if it’s not fixable or major. My stepdad? I don’t share much with him because we just live in different worlds. And the list goes one.
Once in a while though, it slips. I tell a friend about something going on in my business that I’m loving even though she hates my industry. Sometimes I speak about a dream ahead of time and because it doesn’t come to fruition as fast as I’d hope and spoke about, now it seems to the receiver that it isn’t going to happen at all.
So, don’t let the fear or feeling of being misunderstood get to you. Analyze. Go back and see if your W’s were on track (what, when, where, who, how, and why). If they were, then you’re golden! If one was off, then now you know what’s going on and have the right tools to fix it.
You were created to be a messenger, carrying a valuable message through a unique medium. Don’t let the wrong people, closed ears, or off timings get to you! Get back up and at it… and the quicker the better. Your message needs to be heard!
I believe in you! Hope you do the same