Continuing with the principles of communication, which have not been discovered by me but by several teachers and masters, some are being presented here.
Principle – 1 - Intention = Expression = Understanding
The intention always belongs to the speaker who wants to convey the intention that is in the mind. That has to be equal to the expression resulting in the listener’s understanding. If we pay attention to this principle, we will not have to say, ‘Sorry, I did not mean that’. Why? Because you are going to ensure that you are expressing what you intend. Sure, there can be some entropy in thinking. By the time the thought comes to your lips and expression, there can be some loss. Once you are aware that you are more careful in the way you will express. So, Intention has to be equal to expression. Similarly, I listen in such a manner that I understand what the other person is speaking.
So, listening involves my total attention. I have to be there with the speaker and not let my own thoughts, my own ideas, my own concepts disturb or distort what I am hearing. A lot of frameworks with self-awareness have been developed such that my intention is equal to expression. Likewise, a lot of listening techniques have been developed so that I can listen well without distorting what I am hearing. But, all these techniques have this underlying principle that what I intend to say is deliberately, consciously expressed. And when I listen, I am totally present so that there is no distortion. To listen, I keep my wishing, willing and wanting aside.
For instance, if you want to compliment someone, be clear and honest – ‘You look beautiful in this dress.’ Don’t say – ‘You are looking good...You are looking hot.’ It is vague. Don’t let vagueness come into your expression. Similarly, when you listen, listen to what is being said without interpreting and asking a thousand questions. ‘Does it mean he is interested in me?” It is possible he is interested but understand what is happening and accordingly respond.
(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org)