The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Intent and impact

The ultimate objective of our communication is that its intent and its impact can be aligned.

It’s probably an objective that cannot be fully achieved.

That’s because the person receiving the message isn’t you. That person has a different experience, developed her perspective on the world, and has beliefs you might not have.

They have to translate what they hear with whatever they know from the person sharing a story to get a feeling of how the person might have meant what they shared.

It’s a common experience, take the jokes you’ll find hilarious, while your neighbor doesn’t even realize that it’s a joke. It’s one of many situations in which intent is not aligned with impact.

But the more one works to understand the other and the way they think or experience the world, the easier it becomes for you to make your intent audible and for them to perceive it. Once that is achieved, they’ll contribute by seeking to understand the desired impact.

Their ability to understand the meaning of your story and to do so in the way you see it is key to achieving the desired impact.

However, despite capturing the meaning it’s still possible that you may not be able to achieve the desired impact. Then it’s because the desired impact isn’t their choice.

If your intent doesn’t include their ability to choose, it is improbable that anyone will hear beyond the intent.


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