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Have you ever gotten the “uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh” when talking to someone with the head nod?” You are left wondering if anybody comprehends what you were saying. Or, have you ever done it and walked away, not learning anything? Everything the person might have said went through one ear and out the other. I know I’ve done that plenty of times for many reasons. One is that I wasn’t interested in what the person was saying, or it wasn’t relatable to me. Or the person didn’t explain the situation or subject enough for me to comprehend what they were trying to say.

It’s like when you are in school, and your English teacher makes you read Shakespeare. Shakespeare is written in early modern English with metaphors, motifs, and similes. Your teacher must explain what’s happening for you to comprehend the story. I remember thinking, can we watch the movie? I was lost, trying to comprehend what was going on.

Even when you try to read the bible, King James Version, or the bible in the original Hebrew text, I hear there are a lot of missing contexts that you learn about that are not in other versions due to them being lost in translation. When I quickly looked up the difference between the Hebrew bible text and the King James version, I found one site explaining how to translate the word almah. A Hebrew word was translated to “young women” in the early English translation, and the old Christian testament translated the word as “virgin.” There is a big difference between the words virgin and young women, and many questions come to mind when I think of young women, which is a different conversation. Communication is like that sometimes, and things become lost in translation. You could be talking all day long, but it doesn’t mean anybody comprehends what you are saying. I hope you understand what I am saying in this article.

But on the other hand, many of us in certain situations don’t like asking questions because we don’t want to appear dumb or annoy others with our questions. So, we will walk away from the conversation as confused as we went in, sometimes even more confused.

  • You must be bold, ask questions, and seek help to understand better.
Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

But as the famous Tony Ribbons says, “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”

Without understanding, all people hear is “blah, blah, blah!” To effectively communicate, you must be clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, coherent, and courteous. Whether it is business or personal, you must

  • Be clear─ you and your audience must be clear about your message’s purpose. Why do you think your audience needs to hear it, and what do you want to accomplish by delivering this discussion? During your discussion, make sure you are speaking simply so everyone can understand what you are saying. Concentrate on the main points, and don’t use phrases or sayings that can confuse your audience. On a personal level,  communication is required to have a genuine connection with someone, and you must commit to reconnecting when it is not clear that you have a genuine connection.
  • Your communication has to be correct, which means making sure that the language is appropriate, has no inaccuracies, and has no mistakes, whether written or oral. You also have to be conscious of who you are talking to. There are things you can say to a group of adults that you wouldn’t say to a group of teenagers. On a personal level, you must identify your communication style or love language. Everyone is different and prefers different types of communication. Dedicate time to being correct about who your partner is.
  • Your communication needs to be complete with enough detail for people to make and come to a conclusion and make an informed decision. Try to appeal to your audience’s emotions. In your relationship, you must be complete, which means learning about their needs and if it is being met—and Learning to be loving and intimate with them.
  • Your communications have to be concrete in the messaging, and it has to be filled with confidence and factual evidence. In your relationship, you have to be present; open, honest, and supportive is how you be concrete.
  • Keep your communication concise, which means getting straight to the point and simple. Do not repeat anything you already said before. In your relationships, being concise is lettings things go and getting rid of any negative behaviors that you might have that could ruin your relationship.
  • Your communications have to be coherent, and what you are trying to say has to make sense and have a flow. For example, if you give steps to a solution, you cannot talk about step 3 first because you feel like step 3 is more exciting. You have to start with step one, so your audience doesn’t get confused. In relationships, being coherent means listening to what your partner says and how they feel.
  • Lastly, you have to be courteous in your communication. You have to be polite and respectful in your communication and of your audience. Do not use any language that might defend a person or group. Sometimes in relationships, that means starting over. Taking things back to when you first met and went out on dates like you used to. Because you are not the same person you were when you first met. You might have been younger with just a high school diploma, living at home with your parents, and barely any working experience. Now, you are fully connected with a master’s degree, a car, a home, and kids. You are not the same person you were before.

Remember, sometimes it is not what you say; it is how you say it.

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