Misinterpretation is Easy

It’s not hard to fall into a pit of misinterpretation, even among fellow residents of the same country.  See how easy it is by reading the dialog below.  Both speakers are from India, where there are at last 27 known languages.  Both speakers are communicating in English, the national language of India.

Speaker A:  “My grandfather lived for 96 years and he never used glasses.”

Speaker B:  “Yes, I know, some people in my family also drink directly from the bottle.”

The misunderstanding is due to the two meanings we may derive from the same word, a frequent occurrence in English.  What’s missing is an important cue to make the distinction between spectacles/eye wear and glass containers for beverages.  

Both called ‘’glasses.”  Speaker A is talking about longevity and eyesight and the second about drinking habits.   If the first speaker had said “he never WORE glasses,”  the misunderstanding would probably never have occurred.

Has something like that ever happened to you?  Communication coaching increases awareness of  why your listener might be having difficulty understanding you and how to bridge those gaps more easily.