Misunderstanding is the norm

We tend to assume that our audience understands what we mean and that misunderstanding is an anomaly in communication. I think it’s much more helpful to assume the opposite.

Misunderstanding is not an anomaly but the norm. More often than not – even when it doesn’t seem so – people have a different understanding of things than us.

When we say “eager” they see something different than we do. When we say “2 billion” it might seem not much to them while it seems much for us.

It helps a lot to keep that in mind when communicating. If in doubt, assume that your audience will misunderstand what you say and increase clarity.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

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