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Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other

In her new book No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson tells readers a story about her friend, Tim. When Tim started a new job as a manager, one of his top priorities was communicating to his team that he valued each member’s input. So at team meetings, as each member spoke up about whatever project they were working on, Tim made sure he put on his “active-listening face” to signal that he cared about what each person was saying.But after meeting with him a few times, Tim’s team got a very different message from the one he intended to send. “After a few weeks of meetings,” Halvorson explains, “one team member finally summoned up the courage to ask him the question that had been on everyone’s mind.” That question was: “Tim, are you angry with us right now?” When Tim explained that he wasn’t at all angry—that he was just putting on his “active-listening face”—his colleague gently explained that his active-listening face looked a lot like his angry face.

Source: Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other – The Atlantic

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3 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Often times people don’t listen, and if they listen… they listen to reply, not to understand… they watch… and they watch with their mind filled with cognitive biases… and get the wrong idea about you or about what you’re trying to express… they can’t be objective, and this gives rise to a number of misunderstandings… There’s a but. Many times, people can sense… can feel the extent of your authenticity (if any) and this generates attention… then… in case of incomprehension, it’not a misunderstanding anymore… it’s just disagreement. Thank you.

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