Guest Blog: We Don’t Really Hear Each Other
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, failed relationships, and lost profit. And none of it is our fault.
We try to attend carefully to what’s being said. Yet our pesky brains do some pretty sophisticated stuff, all without our conscious consent: they
- Delete or misconstrue or filter out what sounds wrong or goes against our beliefs or is unfamiliar, then
- Matches what’s left with a historic memory of a ‘similar-enough’ conversation and
- Throws out what doesn’t match that memory.
Whatever is left is what we believe has been said.
In conversations with familiar folks, there is less of a gap; with folks we don’t know, in dialogues that are outside of our habitual knowledge base, or when we enter conversations with a rigid goal, we accurately understand far less of what was actually meant. A problem occurs when we are convinced – certain – that what we heard is accurate, and don’t know when, if, or how, to take measures to fix a problem we don’t believe we have. As a result we unwittingly compromise relationships, business, partnerships, creativity, and success.
With little control over what our brains tell us we’ve heard, we’re left with the fallout:
- Misunderstandings that remain unresolved because we believe – we’re certain – we’re right;
- Bad feelings and take-aways caused by misheard communication;
- Biased assumptions that cause inadequate responses and failed initiatives;
- Misheard facts that lead to inaccuracies in business, technology, relationships;
- Restricted creativity, laps in leadership, therapy, coaching, and medical advice.
We misunderstand doctors, make assumptions with our teenagers and vendors, bias communications with family members and colleagues, set up filters before conversations with historic relationships. Our lives are influenced by how accurately we hear what others mean to convey.
But a new book is out that will resolve these problems. What? Did you really say what I think I heard? not only describes how, exactly, our brains create the instinctive actions that limit our ability to hear others without bias or misunderstanding, but also shows how to intervene our automatic behaviors and hear others as they intend to be heard.
Different from books on Active Listening which merely enables listeners to hear words, What? focuses on understanding intended meaning. Using exercises and assessments, funny stories and authentic appeal, author Sharon Drew Morgen has written a game changer, a book that thoroughly breaks down every aspect of how we interpret what others mean to tell us, how the understanding gap between Sender and Receiver is created, and the skills to avoid any misinterpretation or bias at all. It’s a book that will be the foremost communication book for decades and the book is being offered for free (no opt in).
Go to www.didihearyou.com where you can get the book, and peruse the learning tools that accompany the book for those wishing to recognize any obstacles with their listening habits (Assessments) or learn how to overcome any bias and misinterpretation issues (Study Guide) that occur during conversations.