S:0843 Distinction: Read vs. Read Into

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Have you ever had someone receive an email you sent and read into it something different than what you meant to convey? Why do they do that?

It’s because everybody — everybody — processes the world from their own perspective. They run everything through their own filters, which have been created by their unique experiences. This is not a good or bad thing, it simply is.

Being aware of that means you have the full responsibility for being accurately heard. You may or may not be accurately heard, but when you assume the full responsibility it changes the game. Instead of blaming them for reading something into what you said, get it that that’s what they do. Expecting them to help you communicate effectively puts you in a much weaker spot.

Becoming a more effective communicator can be a delightful game for you. Anything they read into what you meant becomes a learning moment for you. And the better you get at communicating the better will be your outcomes.

One suggestion: Read every email before you hit the send key. It’s amazing how many typoos, arrows, and mispellings their are. Catch your stuff and correct it.


Coaching Point: You’re pretty careful to not read something into things you receive, aren’t you?


Copyright 2011 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.