What possibly could be so difficult about communicating with another person?  Most of the time we think there are very few problems when trying to convey our thoughts, ideas and opinions to another person with whom we are speaking.

We are just fooling ourselves, as nine out of ten times the person who we are speaking to, even though they hear our words, are not thinking the same thing that we are speaking of.

Last week I was speaking at a Practice Management conference in Florida.  The Key Note speaker was David Frees, who gave an awesome lecture on communication.

Dave was enlightening and thought-provoking.  I really enjoyed his strategies and techniques to improve your communication skills.

He had us perform the most eye-opening demonstration of communication principles that I have ever partaken in.  He had the group of about 150 break up into groups of 6 people.  He then asked us to pick one of two topics for our group.  The topics were sex or learning.  Then he asked each group to pick a scribe for the team.

Once we picked the topic for our group each person in the group had to write 10 words down to describe the topic word.  He then had the scribe read their words about the topic one-by-one and if everyone in the group had one of the same words as the scribe the group received one point.

It was really amazing that out of all of the groups (about 20+ groups) only two of the groups got one point.  This clearly demonstrated that even though each person had one topic, sex or learning, they all picked different words to describe it.

In my group only twice did others have the same word as I picked, but only a couple of the team members, never did we have everyone pick the same word.  This was so interesting as it proved even though we are all thinking about the same topic we are not thinking about it in the same way.

Communication is very difficult.  When you ask a team member to do something, they may be thinking of something totally different from what you are trying to convey.

When we talk to others and are trying to get a point across we must ask them to repeat what is it that they heard and what it is that they think we want them to do.  We are all humans and created so differently and our minds do not think alike.

Let’s make sure that we are on the same page when working with our teammates, as we may make a mistake if we just assume we are.