Wherever conversations happen, there will always be an element of indeterminacy that makes it possible for people to hear more or less than what is actually said.
How well of a job one can perform at explaining and defending the meanings behind their words will not change that fact.
Words have meanings, yet their impact extends far beyond the boundary of their dictionary dictated denotations.
Language is processed not only according to the content it’s meant to convey, but also according to the sensitivities and sensibilities of the listener.
What an individual says, as far as his audience is concerned, is a mixture of both what is uttered and what is understood.
How wide the gap is between those two elements varies from person to person.
Effective communication not only involves learning how to clearly and compellingly say what we wish to say, but it also demands that we improve our ability to appreciate the plethora of ways in which different hearers hear.
Being precise and persuasive is not the automatic outcome of being articulate; it’s the combination of how aware we are of how others hear us, how open we are to the idea that there’s no single correct way to hear, and how willing we are to make adaptations when the way we’re being heard isn’t working for us.