Springingtiger's Blog

Literal Communication

“The Meaning of a communication is the response you get.” is one of the lessons of NLP. It is a lesson too easily overlooked.

Yesterday I constructed what I thought was a nice analogy to make a point. I was surprised by an angry response that totally missed the point I was trying to make. I forgot of course that it is one thing to construct an analogy, but reading one is something different altogether. On seeing the response it occurred to me, somewhat belatedly, that someone reading literally could have missed the analogy.

The response I got was not related to the meaning I thought I’d put into it. Had the reader got ‘the wrong end of the stick’ and missed the point? The fact is that if anyone takes the wrong meaning from a piece it means that the wrong meaning was there to be taken and of it was there, I am responsible for it.

The problem with posting a blog every day for the year is that some of them (for ‘some’ read ‘most’) are not as thoroughly proofread as I might like. However urgency should not be allowed to displace accuracy. As for yesterday’s blog, I shall put the point I was trying to make into another post completely free of analogy. If the meaning of a communication is the response you get, then it is for me to ensure I get the response I’m looking for.


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