• Karl Walker-Finch

I didn't say that!

Interpretation of text cannot be done by reading alone. Certainly not of my text, perhaps better writers are able to elucidate the appropriate emotions from their readers. Sadly, I seem to lack that expressive eloquence.

Emails, blog post and particularly the short snappy instant messages with which seem to predominate global communication at present are so easily misinterpreted that it should be no surprise when conflict develops.

Four words that can be read in four different ways:

“I didn’t say that” - someone else did

“I didn’t say that” - point blank, you’re wrong

“I didn’t say that” - but I meant it

“I didn’t say that” - what I actually said was far worse

The reader will always pick the most negative interpretation, the writer usually meant the most positive.

When only 7% of traditional communication in person is through the words we use (Mehrabian A, 1972), that leaves a whopping 93% open to the readers own mental reconstruction of the writer’s body language, facial expression and tone of voice, not to mention accounting for the context within which it is expressed.

I can't believe I'm lauding these little yellow faces but Emoji’s seem to have helped convey some of the intended emotion into our short written communications but there is no substitute for a real conversation.

I’m not saying that we should never use text or email, merely that if you want to have a proper conversation with someone, you need to talk to them. If you want to discuss something important, you need to talk. If there is a difficult conversation to be had, or a conflict to resolve, it is imperative that this is done properly.

It would seem that my last couple of blogs have come across as aggressive, or that someone has upset me and spurred my fiery fingers into a fury, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As always, these are simply ramblings through my mind onto the page that bear no direct relationship with anyone close to me unless otherwise stated. To make this point abundantly clear, I will never write about anyone in this blog without their knowledge.

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