How often do we check with our audience, if they have understood our communication ???

Communication is the most essential tool to connect with people and the most critical to get disconnected also. This means, that our communication is subject to interpretation, so as speakers/leaders do we cross-check that our message is clearly understood?

Communication channels must be reciprocal and open, leading to a constructive outcome. The skills of active listening, seeking clarification, and reflecting are so important to understand the message being shared in totality. All three are intertwined deeply, however, asking for clarification and then rechecking with speaker , to understand the exact deliverables is critical for the desired outcome.

Clarification

In communication, clarification involves asking the right questions and resolving any areas of confusion or misunderstanding. For this ,listening is THE key ,so that one can come up with relevant queries which will help clarity in the entire communication.

Clarification is important in many situations, especially when what is being communicated is difficult in some way. Communication can also be ‘difficult’ for many reasons, perhaps sensitive emotions are being discussed – or you are listening to some complex information or following instructions. Sometimes, the messages that a speaker is attempting to send can be highly complicated , involving many different people, issues, places, and/or times. Clarifying helps to sort these out and also to check the speaker’s priorities. Through clarification, it is possible for the speaker and the listener to make sense of these confused and complex issues.¬†

This also removes any ambiguity in the interpretation by the listener.The speaker and the listener then have the same understanding of the subject and therefore the outcome.¬†This is what is called in day to day language as “water-tight” communication , meaning there are NO loopholes which are subject to personal understandings.

Purpose of clarification 

There are TWO main purposes for any clarification sought

  • Ensure that the listener’s understanding of what the speaker has said is correct
  • Reassure the speaker that the listener is genuinely interested and is attempting to understand what they are saying

Now, clarification is in the form of asking questions to the speaker objectively , without judgement .These can be open-ended or close-ended questions. Open-ended questions start with why, where, how, and when, where the speaker can explain in details , his / her explanation ; close-ended questions usually elicit a YES or NO as an answer. The speaker seldom opens up and shares a detailed interpretation of their thoughts in such a case.

Whether you are studying or working in any level , (entry , mid , senior or leadership ), it is of absolute importance to GET CLARITY by asking the correct questions before starting to execute . Based on these questions/summary will you have a full understanding of the communication and therefore deliver the expected.

Performing as per expectation (through the right understanding of the communication ), will help you stand out in the “crowd” and will be a catalyst in advancing your life quickly- both personally and professionally.!

Seek clarity always before starting to deliver!

Do share your comments and feedback as always !