Words have meaning. Different words can have the same meaning, and the same word can have different meanings. Our individual perception and understanding of words is influenced, among other things, by our past experience and context. That is what this video from Everynone demonstrates so beautifully.

Good communication is important. When someone uses certain words they tend to have a meaning in mind. It’s important to try to grasp that meaning, and not apply your own meaning to what they have said. Misunderstandings may be avoided.

During my training we practised an exercise in which one person made a statement, and the next person had to repeat back a paraphrase of the statement, and then check with the first person as to whether what they had said was an accurate reflection and carried the same meaning.

Active listening involves paying attention, being sensitive to meaning, demonstrating empathy, and taking the time.

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