We all know how tough it can be to get our message across at times. I vividly remember an occasion several years where I had a very heated argument in front of a whiteboard, fighting for access to the ‘pen of power’, for about half a day with a colleague (who I respected and had been working closely with for several years). We finally realised that the conflict was caused by a misinterpretation of a word I had used in a document – and also realised we were in a state of ‘violent agreement’. There were some valuable lessons from the ‘debate’ and we had a deeper understanding of each other’s views and assumptions as a result. But, boy was it hard! And frustrating for the both of us.
A recent post to the actKM list by Neil Lynch highlights one of the reasons such miscommunication is commonplace:
A couple of years back, research conducted by Craig McDonald (now at the University of Canberra) looked in detail at 1700 terms he identified as being in use in viticulture – by industry, by academics teaching it, by librarians classifying resources for use by students, etc. The results showed there were just 6 (!!) terms that were used consistantly across the sub-domains within viticulture.
About Mark Schenk
Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on: