Whether it’s listening talking to someone and assuming that because they say, “uh huh,” that they understand or sending an email and deluding yourself into believing because you received a read notice, that the person actually read your message, none of us can afford to ASSUME that communication has taken place in any situation. We all need to take steps to ensure it’s actually occurred.
As speakers, we need to do everything we can to ensure our communication is clear, direct, and sent to the right person. However, we also have a responsibility to confirm our messages are not only received, but received correctly. As listeners, we can’t just nod, smile, and say “uh huh,” and give speakers the false sense that we 100% understand every nuance of what they’ve communicated. As electronic communicators, we need to respond to the messages we receive, even if it’s just to say “thank you.”
This week, take steps to ensure you close the communication loop no matter if you’re the person initiating the communication or the one responding to it. When you’re listening, paraphrase what you’ve heard to ensure you’re on the same page with the speaker. If you’re the speaker, ask questions to ensure the person to whom you’ve spoken truly understand what you’ve said. When you receive an email, let the other person know that you’ve received it and what action you’re taking on it. It’s not just one party’s responsibility to ensure communication has truly taken place, it’s everyone’s responsibility.