If people experience the exact same thing, why do they have different versions of reality?
I’ll show you.
Initially, a coffee bean is green. Once harvested and roasted, it turns brown.
Next, someone grinds up some beans, puts the coffee grounds in a filter, runs hot water over them, and voila!—countless variations of coffee—cappucino, frappacino, black, or whatever—a perfect cup of coffee for whomever is drinking it.
Can anyone re-create the original coffee bean?
Of course not! Communication and reality work the same way.
You process reality through filters like your beliefs, values, and moods. You distort, delete, and generalize information to create the perfect cup of reality for you. Think about that.
Exceptional communicators learn to understand the filters that people use.
When it comes to communication, can you take a coffee bean and make the perfect cup of coffee for you AND for others?
1. Think about a time when you and someone experience the same thing, but both of you felt differently about what happened? Describe the situation. What factors—such as personality, experience, culture, emotions, etc.—caused you to see things differently?
2. Have you ever said something to someone that he or she took the wrong way? What happened? What factors caused the misunderstanding? What, if anything, will you do differently in the future?
3. What are 3 questions you can ask someone to make sure that you understand exactly what he or she is saying? Do you actually use these questions when you are communicating with people? If yes, provide an example. If not, how will you remember to use them in the future?
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