Say it with feeling

I am only responsible for what I say, not for what YOU understand – Anonymous

I came across this quote while perusing all the other wonderful writings in the blogosphere and it got me to wondering about the truth of that statement.

There are some teachers who believe that if you do not understand, then it is the fault of the teacher who has not done enough to make the information digestible, interesting or informative. There are some salesmen who believe that if you do not buy, it is because they have not done enough to make the offer attractive, alluring and appealing. There are some coaches that believe that if you do not ‘get it’, it is because they did not do enough to make your dreams and desires speak out to you, they did not highlight your unique selling points in such a way to elicit the right amount of excitement that allows you to get up and build your self-determined future.

I believe that our word sounds have power. And I believe that it is our responsibility to manage how we wield that power. I believe that we already know the effect of our utterances, that we design what we say for the listener, that because we are human ourselves, we know, inherently, how we will be understood when we communicate. It is that ‘theory of mind’ which allows us to follow the trajectory of a pointing finger to the intended target that is being pointed to, and not just stare the finger (go on…try it with a pet!). With that ‘theory of mind’, we know what the other person intends and conversely, we know that our intentions will be known, or at least guessed at, by the listener.

So if I intend to hurt with my words, that intention become known. If I intend to teach, then that feeling is passed on, through my choice of phrase, my tone, my willingness to go at the pace of understanding unique to the receiver. If I intend to heal, then the love is apparent in what I say. I am responsible for what you hear, if only through the intention behind my words.

Do you believe that you can release words into this world and not be responsible for how they are received?

Published in: on June 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm  Comments (2)  
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