The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts


When people exchange with one another, then they are bound to eventually come to some misunderstanding. Not every time. But once in a while.

And yet, when it comes to discussing communication needs, a frequent desire is to fix this situation. It becomes a search for a method allowing to avoid misunderstandings or a desire to find the tools to be perceived as one wants to be perceived.

Years passed by promoting ideas of “clear communication” as well as the adaptation of communication according to personality types. Ideas that seem to have created an illusion that communication without misunderstandings is achievable.

It isn’t.

What’s possible though is to remember that communication always contains misunderstandings.

Integrating this assumption into our communication creates the space to become attentive to communication gaps. These gaps may relate to information needs others may have just as much as the ones we may have ourselves.

Building on this idea opens the door for all the questions which pop up when things don’t seem as clear as we expected them. This means to allow for doubt and to establish the permission to ask questions even if things seem to be clear at first sight.

This doesn’t prevent all possible misunderstandings but it creates a good chance to become aware of them early on and to be in a good position to deal with them.


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