3 Ways to Defeat the Big Hairy Beast called Miss Communication

Never assume anything!

At least that’s what mothers tell their kids.

Of course, it’s pretty darned difficult to avoid assuming. It seems a goofy gift of fate that your brain and mind have an inborn talent for jumping to conclusions, operating from what is a believed common point, or plain ol’ guessing what another is thinking.

To assume: there are many meanings. One meaning is to take over the responsibilities of. Another meaning is to pretend. Particularly, to pretend to know.

All of these definitions are important when we consider assumption in communication.

Playwright George Bernhard Shaw once wrote: “The greatest barrier to communication--is the illusion of it.

He was talking about illusions. Or, to put it another way....assumptions.

To assume: to make an ASS out of U and ME. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone where you tell them something, they act as though they understand, then they go out and do not do as you’ve told them? Chances are that the reason for it, is because of an assumption. Both the assumption of understanding on the part of the listener, and the assumption of receptivity on the part of the sender caused the mix up.

Assumptions can ruin constructive effective communication. So, to avoid miscommunication, begin practicing these three easy tips.

  • Practice Paraphrasing what the person just said. Say back to them what you heard or believe you heard them say. This way you can work out any problems on the spot rather than after the fact.
  • Ask questions of the person. Doing such also allows the speaker to know you’ve not fully understood. As a speaker, asking questions of your audience allows you to know that they understood you. No, “do you understand?” is not a good question. Often people will say yes, even when they don’t. Never underestimate the power of the ego’s desire to protect itself. Practice asking open ended questions. For example: “Sorry, what did I just tell you? I lost track of my thoughts.” Seek clarity through questions.
  • Finally, accept that 100 % understanding will probably never probably occur. So check your emotions. A riled up feeling of anger is not a good way to try and process information. If someone says a word that you feel yourself angry about, ask them what they mean by that word. Watch your emotions!
Practicing these will absolutely help you avoid the biggest barrier to communication. …so now you know.


3 Massively Monstrous Superbly Awesome Benefits of Social Media

Given all the negative publicity in the world concerning social media—how it’s big brother and a time suck—you should be asking yourself why use this scary privacy killer?

It’s simple.

It’s fun.
Truth is, sitting, writing, playing and informing are fun. Writing about what you do and did are greatly entertaining to you. Whether others care what you say matters only a little. You are guaranteed at least a small audience of listeners and readers. …and this is good. It’s good to be heard, it’s fun to be heard. It’s also fun to look at all your friends photos.

But the fun factor is only an awesome benefit. It’s not a massively monstrous, superbly awesome benefit. …so just what are the massively monstrous, superbly awesome benefits of social media?

Social Media improves communication.
Flat out, writing Twitter Tweets and Facebook updates takes skill. Writing something that is both interesting and understandable is a talent. The rewards of your talent are the little red tags in Facebook and hyper-retweeting on Twitter. (…I’m sure the other media forms have cool things about them too).

Social Media improves relationships.
For the most part, you’ve probably connected with people you’ve not talked with in years. Yes those relationships might not be as tight as they used to be, but at least you’re talking.

Social Media improves positioning.
For those of us who have lots of friends or followers, what we say IS reality. The story you tell yourself about me based on the words I write are powerful. What I say positions myself in your brain. Who I am to you is your reaction to what I’ve written or posted. This is especially powerful with those people who you really never talk to, but read your tweets or updates regularly. It’s kind of fun, actually. Every now and then, throw your network a curveball by saying something really wacky. Keep everyone guessing.


Good question. Just fun, I guess.

Anyhow, social media is not ALL BAD. There are a tonne more benefits too if you want to find them. Here’s a good site that lists some great reasons we should use Social Media.


If You Could Answer 20 Questions About Your Life, What Questions Would You Want to Answer?

People love to talk about themselves. People love it when others ask them personal questions. Of course, not all personal questions are ranked equally. Yet, most people enjoy answering even THOSE questions if the time and place is right.


Because we want to be known. We want our stories told. We want people to truly understand and know us. Disagree if you want, but the bottomline is that there’s something about our humanity that cries out I WANT TO BE KNOWN!!! I WANT TO TELL YOU WHO I AM!

That, and we just plain like talking about ourselves!

So what questions would you love to have someone ask you?

Is there a secret you’re holding on to, perhaps have been for years? Are you waiting for the right person to come along and ask you that perfectly phrased question that motivates you to finally tell all?

Perhaps there is a boy or a girl that you really really wish would ask you something. What is it? What’s the fantasy question that you’re dying to have someone ask you? That exact question that you’ve been rehearsing the answer to all your life?

Questions are so important! They have the ability to raise the dead, to bring back life to a sore soul and a pain-filled life liver. Questions have the ability to drive out demons, bring light into darkened rooms, shower grace on a stormy moment, and add life to an already brilliant day.

Questions rock!

Who is the person you absolutely love the most? What is the most meaningful memory of your childhood? What’s the saddest day of your life? What would it take to make that sad day go away? What is the one thing that if you had it would vastly improve your life?

Are you who you want to be? Whose opinion of you matters most? What’s your greatest accomplishment? What is your secret dream? If you could give one thing to life, what would you give?

These are ten that would probably help someone get to know you better. Answering them in the presence of someone would also help you know yourself better too. It’s an amazing phenomenon that when we speak our story, and when we listen to ourselves tell, that if we’re full of crap we can usually feel the tickle of misalignment within. If we think about that misalignment, if we choose to look at it, we have the chance to ask ourselves the questions…what’s wrong? Am I missing something? Is this concept I just spoke real and true for me? Or is it not? Could it be I’m just parroting someone else?

Questions have the power to reveal truth to you and to another. With such, we can find the greatest gift to ourselves and to another. ….the truth. Where there is truth there is freedom, ladies and gents…..where there is truth, there is freedom.


What Every Smart Writer Knows About Writing Emails

Are you sitting in a comfortable position? Are you feeling relaxed? Because what you are about to hear will completely revolutionize the way you communicate.

FACT: reading long emails sucks.

FACT: reading long emails with lots of different font sizes, colors, styles and shapes sucks even worse.

FACT: most people click delete the minute someone sends an email that’s designed like what was just described.

FACT: the reason people are answering you, “ooops, no, I didn’t.” whenever you ask them if they read your email is because IT SUCKS!

Stop writing terrible emails NOW by following a very simple step.

Smart writers know that effective emails contain one idea. One point.

Smart writers know that the chances of getting your email read quadruple if you keep your emails short, sweet, and to the point!

Smart writers know that getting to the point should be done fast.

Smart writers know that it is just as easy to write five short emails under five different subject headings as it is to write one email that contains five points.

Why is this so? Because it’s smart, that’s why. And because today’s email reader in nearly ALL contexts—albeit the old granny sitting reading forwards and letters from grandchildren—have too much to do. Concentrating on the minute details and points made in a massive splattering of text is too much for a readers info/stress-stuffed brain to handle. Smart writers know this, and so write to the needs of their readers.

Do you want your emails to be read? Do you want to be a smart emailist?

Then start shortening them up. Stop being stylistic. Get to the point! Be polite, but get to the point. ...or else.