Are you being understood?

I love blogs. I really do. As well as writing this one, I spend quite a bit of time reading others and even commenting on the odd occasion. One thing I find fascinating about blogs is the comments. In fact, I often spend more time on the comments than the short post preceding them. I have read two blog posts from mamamia.com that completely befuddled me. Not the content of the posts but the readers’ responses. The first one discusses the life lessons you pass onto your children. The message of the blog was clear to me (in my very humble opinion). It was about the beliefs that you inadvertently (or advertantly) pass on to your children. It got me thinking about some of my beliefs and how much were mine and how much were ‘inherited’ from my family. The comments descended into an untidy argument about whether leggings could be considered pants. Missed the point people? Perhaps.

The most recent post was by Jess Rudd (the previous Australian Prime Minister’s daughter) about freedom of speech in Australia. Again, I might be getting a bit arrogant in my perceived ability to understand blog posts, but I was disappointed to see the comments descend into an argument over the struggle we have in our government for power and whether this post was mamamia.com showing support for Kevin Rudd. What? Jess had a great message. She lives in Beijing and experiences the lack of freedom of speech every day. Even though, things might not be the best they can be in our political world at the moment, isn’t it great that anyone can blog, tweet or Facebook how they feel. With no fear of punishment or having their opinion removed. Admittedly, there were plenty of readers who thought the same way as I did (phew, vindicated!), but I was still disappointed with the number of people who may have seen the point, but did not choose to think about it.

It got me thinking about the language we use and communication in general. How many times have you clearly communicated something and it was not understood? In NLP we talk about filters that delete, distort and generalise EVERYTHING we take in. Isn’t it fascinating that everyone works a different way?

My lesson this week is to choose to be excited about how different people are and how lucky we can communicate freely, rather than focus on those who might not have ‘got it’. Who knows, maybe I didn’t ‘get it’. How can I communicate my point better? How can I listen better?… My reading (judgement free of course) continues…