The Single Biggest Problem in Communication is the Illusion that it has Taken Place
Knowing is not telling. A major issue in our day to day communication is the things we already know. Either it makes us bad listeners or it we simply assume, we have shared our knowledge with others already.
Especially the assumption, that we have told others about what we have on our mind, is a reliable source of fierce disputes. A conversation, which starts with “I have told you…” too often is countered by a “No, you didn’t tell me…” – a really bad start, as you assumed things are going, but you find yourself in the middle of a serious conflict.
The escalation level for these kind of dialogs is pretty high. Even if someone gives in, the conflict as such remains. Communication went wrong way before. A fact that will be accepted on a long term.
So we should remind ourselves to question us, what kind of communication really happened and how it has been perceived by others. Instead of stating what you have said, ask others, what they have perceived from you. “Did I tell you…?” makes a different start.
Another good habit will be to ask people on a regular basis, if they understand why we are acting as we do. You will have to find out for yourself where communication is lacking, as it might happened in your head only. And you have to do it in a way, which considers that the communication might not took place like you have it on your mind.