While researching my new book What? I discovered that when listening to others, we naturally assume we understand what’s meant and don’t question our assumption. Yet the filters our brain uses to hear what others mean to convey preclude accuracy, leading to faulty assumptions. Essentially, here’s what happens that makes accuracy so difficult
Every year, with the best will in the world, we make New Year’s resolutions to make some sort of change, like exercising more or eating healthier. We start off with great gusto and determination, yet by February we begin making excuses to avoid the gym, or convince ourselves pizza would be great for dinner. What happens? We’re approaching change in the wrong way. But we can easily make it right.
We all theoretically recognize that everyone has the right to their own beliefs. But in situations where we have great passion (or the moral high ground, as we would like to believe) we have difficulty being generous with those who disagree with us. Wouldn’t it be nice to persuade others to see the world as we see it?
here’s been an age-old argument in the communication field: who’s at fault if a misunderstanding occurs – the Speaker communicating badly, or the Listener misunderstanding?
Let’s look at some facts:
A coach’s job is to facilitate potential change, usually by asking questions to identify the components of the problem and decide between solutions while reinforcing the changes and maintaining a trusting relationship. To achieve the excellence that all coaches seek, it’s necessary to avoid the listening filters that could prejudice the interaction, such as:
We are not always able to accurately hear what others mean to convey. Sometimes we hear only a fraction of what’s been said and our brains misunderstand or bias the rest – and we might not realize it until it’s too late, causing us to believe we’re right and others are wrong, or moving to action using the wrong assumptions. We’re left with restricted communication and creativity,