Time Management through Exact Communication - 8 Tips: Why we often do not say what we mean


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A clear message is what most people actually want, and that few get it right. Why is it that we often do not say what we mean, but rather push around?

Time Management through Exact Communication - 8 Tips: Why we often do not say what we mean


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Clear communication: That's why it makes you more productive

It happens again and again - in everyday life, in the job, in the personal relationship: We say A, I mean B and are then irritated that our interlocutor does not even understand what we want and in the end, maybe even C does. The result is often kidding, strife and power games that cost unnecessary time. It would be better to say what we mean, right?

Clear communication is not only more understandable, it also helps to save time, precisely because it prevents misunderstandings. But just when anger or resistance is to be feared, many people tend to rewrite wishes or work instructions rather than plain language.

Beware of plasticizers in communication

Typical plasticizer examples are: "I would like ..." instead of "Please do this ..." or "Could you do this as soon as possible" instead of "Please do it now". Motto: "He will somehow understand what I mean".

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The communication partner usually does not. Because most people only understand what they want to understand if they are given the choice. Then they do not care about each other's wishes or as soon as possible is next week and not immediately. And this creates the paradoxical situation: supposedly expressed clearly, yet misunderstood.

The transceiver problem

But there is a solution to this problem: You can avoid such “plasticizers” and still convince people - for example by creating acceptance for your own goals and putting common goals in the foreground.

But the really exciting question here is: why can not we make it clear to others, what we expect and want, in order to avoid the misunderstandings right from the start? There are a number of reasons for this which, depending on the situation, more or less come to fruition and should be reflected accordingly. Also because many actually believe that they had expressed themselves clearly - and yet the interlocutor did not understand the statement.

8 Tips: What's behind the communication errors?

Not infrequently, such misunderstandings combine several of the following motives:

  1. Uncertainty: Often there is a personal insecurity behind it - one simply does not dare to prevail or is afraid of an escalating conflict.
  2. The desire to be loved: Every human wants to be loved. Also bosses. However, it becomes problematic for them to expect love from their employees and to turn to it - for example, by avoiding clear decisions because they are afraid of making themselves unpopular. Roland Jäger has this Chef-Type described as “cuddly boss” very aptly.
  3. Expectations: Not infrequently, we also want to respond to our counterpart's implicit or openly expressed expectations, especially if they are the boss or other important persons. Conversely, we often have implicit expectations of others - for example, that they can blindly follow our train of thought and already understand what we mean. But nobody can think-read.
  4. Society: Occasionally, especially in women, the social picture plays a role. Women should be nice, nice and friendly, that's the cliché. And to conform to this image and not to be considered as a bitch, many women try to rewrite their opinion rather than speak clearly and openly what they think.
  5. Beliefs: Many beliefs have been given to us as a child, such as Management consultant Claudia Hupprich shows. As a child, for example, the word was banned frequently, will also have difficulties as adults to prevail.
  6. Convenience: Sometimes it's just a matter of convenience - we just do not want a fight and think the problem will solve itself if we just start it kindly. A dangerous fallacy.
  7. Stress: The motive is very similar if we want to avoid further stress and conflicts during time constraints and therefore do not present our request too little. This can be bitterly avenged if the work order delegated has not been executed. Afterwards, the stress is usually greater.
  8. Tactical goals: Quite a few people try for tactical reasons to manipulate other people consciously or unconsciously. Again, there is often uncertainty behind it as a basic motive.

Conclusion: Improve your own insecurity or convenience

So if you want to communicate clearly, understandably and unequivocally, and yet are often misunderstood, then you should consider why that is:

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On your own insecurity, convenience or similar motives. And then work to eliminate the communication errors as much as possible. Good luck!


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  1. Andrea

    That's totally true, I feel the same, I always say yes if in no mine! Good text!

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