One of the greatest blessings of God for mankind is to make each other understand what is in their minds. The ability to make people comprehend something the way you want them to is nothing else but a gift and blessing. Come to think of it, not everybody around us has it in them to explore this blessing and utilize it to the fullest; those who do aren’t thankful enough.
We are aided by so much from within and around us to facilitate us in initiating and completing the process of transferring an idea from one mind to another. Yet, we fail at times to do what seems to be such a small job to start off things. What’s crystal clear to us and so simple to understand somehow seems like the most difficult thing in the world for another person to comprehend. It starts off with a sense of mocking in our mind for the other person’s intellect and then slowly transforms into frustration.
What are the factors that might cause this situation to occur? Let’s take a look at a few:
Lack of empathy
One of the main factors that can cause a ‘disconnect’ between two persons is lack of empathy. We need to realize and relate to the level of absorption of the other person while communicating with them. Something coming naturally to you or being a ‘piece of cake’ might actually be ‘rocket science’ for another person. Sometimes it’s like teaching a child 2 plus 2 for the first time, you know it’s 4 and it’s as simple as how ‘2 plus 2’ sounds, but that’s not how the kid you’re teaching looks at it. You need to come to the level of the other person to make them understand your point.
There are times when you are sure you have come to the level of the other person to make them understand an idea, but somehow, the connection still doesn’t seem to be formed properly. This usually happens when either of the two persons does not agree to the other person’s opinion/ idea. This may not be a problem of not making the other person absorb an idea; it’s more about two people not convinced on/ about a single notion. Everyone has the right to disagree but make sure the disagreement is backed up by grounds that are mutually acceptable by all parties involved. Believe me, you would prefer someone disagreeing to an idea on valid grounds over hypocrisy. Don’t force yourself or someone else into pretense just for the sake of avoiding disagreement.
Disagreements generally originate as a result of mental blocks. Beware! Mental blocks are fatal and can lead to permanent damage to not only the discussion underway but also the long term relationship of the people involved. For effective communication, it is extremely important to get rid of all prejudices and mental blocks before going into discussion.
No idea in the world is a 100% perfect. It is important for all of us to accept that and keep our minds flexible during discussion.
I can’t be wrong
Flexibility of mind demands honesty on the part of all involved in the discussion. Honesty to the extent that you might even have to accept that you are wrong. Yes, you CAN be wrong and you have to have a heart big enough to accept that. Having the notion that ‘I can’t be wrong’ is ‘wrong’ in itself.
In case of being on the other side of a discussion, it is important that ideas should be heard with open heart and mind. Never say ‘No’ immediately to any ideas. Always view all ideas keeping all possibilities in mind.
The most important and foremost thing in communication is unconditional respect. It is essential that respect is given to the other person in order to gain respect for ourselves and our opinions/ ideas. The key to effective communication is keeping an open mind while going into a discussion and to continue keeping it open during and after it. Staying positive and open to new ideas is likely not to let you down in the long run.
Hammad A. Mateen