Axiom 1: There is no such thing as perfect communication
Picture credit: Ranee Kaur Banerjee
It is impossible for you to interpret my words exactly, perfectly, just as I meant them. This is because you and I are different in a myriad small ways.
When I say the word "tree," you know what I mean, generally speaking, but you don't know, cannot know my tree. Similarly, you cannot know how tall my tall is or how hot my hot is. My tree, my tall, my hot come from my unique experiences just as your conceptions of those words come from yours.
In real terms, the mere denotation of a word does not really convey its entire meaning. The connotations attached to the word, the context in which it is said, the tone of voice (or punctuations) used when it is spoken, the body language of the sender when the word is expressed, the environment in which it is uttered, the very appropriateness of the word on the occasion it is articulated, the receiver’s faith in the reliability of the sender and his own attitude to the sender, the subject and to himself—all contribute to the meaning that is finally garnered by the receiver.
The aim of communication, thus, is not "perfect" but "effective" communication. Communication is effective when we get the desired result from our efforts to communicate.
The author, Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee, is Managing Partner at Expressions@Work, a training, consulting and mentoring studio for the development of communication and soft skills