Posted September 28, 2010on:
Beware of Mixed Messages
If you want to be understood it is vital that your communication is clear and succinct. This means communicating with total focus, clarity and commitment in order that your messages are received as you intended.
The problem with mixed messages is that they communicate verbally, physically and emotionally several conflicting ideas at the same time. The receiver is left uncertain as to how to respond; we don’t know what to do, what the communicator meant or which message is the intended one. Mixed messages lead to difficulties in communicating effectively and give rise to misunderstandings.
Mixed messages negatively impact relationships. The receiver of a mixed message has to spend time and energy on figuring out what the speaker meant. Appropriate responses are hindered because the listener doesn’t know which message to follow. This in turn leads to a lack of trust. By keeping the communication free of conflicting messages, you bring clarity and understanding to your relationships. People will know where they stand.
In addition to confusing the listener when you send out mixed messages, you make yourself appear weak. A strong communicator is direct, clear and focused. When the message is mixed it becomes diluted. Sending mixed messages makes the speaker sound unsure of himself and diminishes his personal power and impact.
The person who regularly sends out mixed messages is a bit like the little boy who cried ‘wolf.’ Eventually, the mixed messenger will be ignored because they have been confused too many times in the past.
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