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The Meaning of Your Communication Is the Response You Get

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How many times has it happened that you have been misunderstood or that your interlocutors have misunderstood you? You have tried to send a certain message but you have encountered resistance. Who owns the fault for resistance or misunderstanding in communication?

One of the assumptions of Neuro-Linguistic programming reads: The meaning of my communication is the response which I get. What does it imply? This presumption changes the focus of understanding the message from the communicator (a person who carries the message) to the interlocutor or a person who receives and analyses the message. According to that presumption messengers should never say: You did not understand me well, but instead, I'm sorry, I didn't express myself well. If our interlocutor didn't understand the message, it is our responsibility because our presentation of content was inappropriate to the model of the world or understanding of our interlocutor.

Let's take an example: Teacher has 30 students. After he had presented a specific content, he decided to make a test. He shared 30 tests and the results brought 27 negative marks and only three (3) positive. What does it tell us? The result of 27 negative marks tells more about the teacher than about his students. These 27 of negative marks is the meaning of his communication in significantly greater extent than about communication of students. The meaning of his communication in this case is misunderstanding.

Let's take another example: I'm always being exploited because I'm too kind to other people.

Why do people take advantage of us? Are they just that way or we have sent them a message that they are actually allowed to exploit us?

If someone asks for a favor and we automatically respond to the benefit of interlocutor, we have sent a particular message. That message is: you can count on me. If the same person comes X times after that and asks us for other services and we are always responding kindly with understanding and help, we have sent a message even more specifically. That message reads: You can always count on me. And, what is the result? Considering that we got our beloved friend used to that pattern, he/she will make a good use of it, of course. But, we should keep in mind the following. We are the people who send the message X times and we are the same ones who have allowed/or others to exploit us. If we are conscious that the meaning of our communication is the response which we get, we should send a clear message from the beginning. In situations when I am asked for a favor, I'm trying to set a clear framework and I say: Okay, I'll think if I can help you with this problem and I'll call you back until 4 pm. By this sentence I am emphasizing that I will try to help with that certain problem but I am sending a clear message that I'm not always available. If I would say, for instance: There is no problem, consider it solved, I would send a message that I am here on disposal immediately, thereby opening the box for the requests without thinking, in every situation when some new request or new problem arise.

In other words, every reaction is the result of some action. If interlocutor responds aggressively to some of my attitudes, that just means that I have made false judgment about which topics I can communicate with this person and about which topics I can't. Presumption: The meaning of our communication is the response which we get is not necessarily true in all situations and all interactions, but the adoption of this presumption as personal belief, or personal attitude, contributes to the acceptance of personal responsibility for the content which we communicate with people important to us. If we accept the responsibility that we ourselves are responsible for reactions (to our actions) by other people, the more we will pay attention to what we communicate and the way in which we communicate in specific situations.

What I communicate is what I get!
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