How To Talk To Me

How To Talk To Me



I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but what you heard is not what I meant.”



Eric was perplexed.  He thought he’d considered every suggestion Janet had made with regard to the Arnold project. Yet, in the project review meeting with her one morning, she seemed irritated.  She insisted that he wasn’t being cooperative, wasn’t paying attention to her recommendations, and was causing the project to fall behind schedule.  When Eric tried to explain the decisions he’d made and the actions he’d taken, Janet folded her arms, glared, and informed him that she’d already told him exactly what to do for the project and as far as she was concerned, Eric had ignored all of her instructions.

It was growing increasingly apparent that their work was suffering because of the differences in communication styles. What Eric perceived as mere suggestions, Janet considered non-negotiable directives. Without a clear understanding of these differences, their working relationship-along with their work-would continue to suffer.

Whether personally or professionally, discovering and understanding the best way to meet the communication needs of others is critical for effective interactions. Breakdowns occur when communication styles clash and needs go unmet.

Understanding your own communication style and needs is often the first step in bridging the communication gap with others. 

Take a moment to consider the following:


  1. How do you prefer to be talked to?


  1. What style of communication from others makes you uncomfortable?


  1. What style of communication from others brings out the best in you?

After sharing your responses, don’t be afraid to ask others for their responses to these three questions. After all, effective communication begins with understanding.





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