Are you listening with the intent to understand?
Did you understand what was said or not? That’s comprehension!
Communication is sending information or a message from one person/ group to another.
Communication could involve our emotions, locations, instructions, etc.
There are four main types of communication:
Verbal, non-verbal, visual, and written.
Without comprehension, communication is really wasteful. I’m just now after 45 years realising this.
Throughout past relationships, current relationships, raising children, and being in management positions, I’ve strived to be an “effective communicator”. It’s even a huge part of my therapy.
I’m learning that us we are truly able to comprehend what the other person is communicating, the communication is useless.
This builds anger, resentment, avoidance, emotional triggers, and could lead to shut down and mistakes, along with a great deal of misunderstandings.
Key phrases I have used to make sure others understand me are:
- “Does that make sense?”
- “Would you like for me to give you an example?”
- “Here is an example.”
- “Can you explain to me what you heard me say?”
Is this really effective?
In my last marriage, there were major communication and comprehension issues. No matter what I said, how I said it, how it was communicated (letter, text, verbal), my ex-husband ALWAYS heard or comprehended something else.
I know comprehension can be difficult at times. I’m not always on the same page when others are talking or speaking and think I’m either in “Lala land” or they are. I can’t read a book if I can’t comprehend the beginning chapter and stay interested. I’m a skimmer.
Some people are “get straight to the point”, whereas others what to take the time to ensure they understand.
This goes into communication styles. Did you know online you can take communication style quizzes? I’ll link some at the end!
Helpful comprehension strategies are visualising, summarising, questioning, analysing, and background knowledge. These are generally taught at a very young age.
There are comprehension quizzes also, I’ll link a few too.
Have you ever heard the saying “God have you two ears to listen more and one mouth to speak less?”
I’m guilty too. Let’s ALL make a conscious effort communicate with the intention of comprehension and help those that struggle with comprehension.
Relationships can be built on great foundations of true understanding.