I was at a conference recently and one of the speakers was talking about communication and listening skills. During her presentation she mentioned how we communicate non-verbally as well as verbally and used the example of pictures we have in our offices. The specific example she used was what we would think if we saw hunting pictures in someone’s office.
My immediate thought was, “Cool! I can use that to start a conversation.” I don’t hunt, but my father did and my brothers and a niece and nephew do. I know enough that I can use it to start a conversation, to form a connection.
A moment after my thought, I heard a woman at the next table say, “Predator.” Wow! She would receive a completely different message from a hunting picture than I would.
It is important to realize that the message sent and the message received might not be the same. Whether you are the sender or the receiver, take steps to clarify the intent of the message if you think there might be misinterpretations.