We live in an age of great technological advancement. Every year brings a new smart phone, a new application, website and quicker means of communication. I Skype with my parents back in Wisconsin to see the snow and hear how the Packers are doing. FaceTime with my friend in Texas to see the view from her rooftop deck. Text with the men I meet to line up dates. Talk on the phone with my Grandmother. Write letters via snail mail with my sister. Email with my coworkers and friends. Tag my friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stay in touch via Pinterest and Tumblr. Oh and I talk to these people in person. With so many means of communication, is it any wonder why there is such great miscommunication?
How often do we feel alienated by a post we see or a text we receive? How regularly do we misinterpret an email or text and assume it said one thing, when the intention was really something else? How often is something we wrote in good-fun or humor taken seriously or with offense? How often is our silence or non-response taken as an insult? I’m guessing there is some head nodding, eye rolling, or sighs of agreement going on as you read this. Am I right?
There is something that unites us all. A language that is spoken in every corner of the world. A universal language. The Language of Intent.
Behind every spoken word, text sent, picture shared, high-five given, hug squeezed, or letter mailed, there is an intention. A meaning. A purpose. A feeling felt and a feeling meant to be expressed (not always the same). With all of this going on, of course we experience confusion! We are wading through the words and images, through the smiles and sounds, to find the truth. The authentic message. The intent behind the exchange. So often, the intent does not match the words or presentation – thereby causing more confusion. We are in such a rush to “express ourselves” and “fix” the situation, that communication is often sent abruptly and without proper care and attention to timing.
It is really best to take a moment, focus your feelings and intent before moving forward. What are you trying to express? Are you trying to share, help or confront? Are you looking for resolution, an apology or are you just looking to vent? Be clear in your mind before you move forward. Seek the answers within your soul and see what your true intent is. Is it for you or the person you are addressing? And with that intent in mind, which mean of communication is best? Is it truly urgent or can it wait?
This unspoken language is seen in many forms, but we feel it and know it best in our gut. Our intuition.
Knowing that this universal language flows through the undercurrent of every exchange, what if we all took a moment to set our intent before moving forward? If we were to do this, would we communicate more effectively? I really do think that understanding your intent and becoming clear on the intent of those you are communicating with, is the best way for everyone to be understood. For exchanges to be truthful. For voices to be truly heard and an authentic moment to be had.
What do you think?