Listener’s Lens: How Everything A Speaker Says is Filtered

We all have that one friend who always seems to miss the point of every story we tell them. No matter how clearly we explain it, they just can’t seem to understand what we’re saying.

As frustrating as this can be, it’s important to remember that our words are being filtered through their “listener’s lens.” In other words, everything we say is being processed and interpreted based on the listener’s unique experiences, beliefs, and biases. And this isn’t just true for one person – everyone hears things differently based on their own individual lens.

So let’s take a closer look at how everything a speaker says is filtered through the listener’s lens – and why it matters.

The Basics of Communication

Before we dive into the complexities of filtering language through different lenses, let’s first review some basic concepts of communication. After all,effective communicationis essential in both personal relationships and professional settings!

At its core,communication involves sending/transmitting a message from one party (the speaker) to another (the listener)in order to convey information or ideas. To do so successfully,…

While there are several different models of communication, most agree that there are four key elements involved:

  1. Sender/Source: The person who creates/conveys the message.
  2. Message: What is actually being communicated.
  3. Channel/Medium:The method by which the message is transmitted( e.g.text/email,in-person conversation).
  4. Receiver/Destination: The intended recipient(s)of the message.

Language as Data

When you break down all speech into bite-size chunks — commonly known as “phonemes,” or acoustic units — then sound waves emitted via actual human speech really looks like data with two clear components! Today’s machine learning technology allows us now better-understand languages in general.

Hearing is Not Listening

Hearingis less complex than listening. When someone hears a sound, all that’s happened is their ear has picked up onto vibrations in the air and interpreted it as noise, auditory feedback only. Compare this tolistening:
when youlisten,you arenot justhearingand processing language or sounds; rather,you’re attempting to derive contextual meaning when processing the information being shared.

Listener Bias

Your hearing abilities do not significantly impact your ability to listen — In fact,everyone by nature suffers from some sort of cognitive biasthat can get in the way of comprehending exactly what other people are saying.

Some common forms of listener bias include:

  • Confirmation Bias
  • Halo/Horn Effect
  • Projection Bias
  • Anchoring Effect\

How Speaker’s Lens Can Impact Communication

While the listener’s lens plays a big role in understanding what someone else is saying, let’s not forget about how the speaker’s lens might impact communication as well!

Specifically, the words we choose may inadvertently trigger certain biases or preconceived notions within our listeners – even if these weren’t our intended meanings! For instance…

Have you ever told a joke that was completely lost on somebody because they took it too literally? Or have you ever used a metaphor that fell flat because your audience didn’t share your cultural background?

These kinds of misunderstandings happen all the time…and it highlights an important truth—words alone cannot guarantee effective communication.

And would you believe underuse/overuse/double-barreled questions can be harmful additional hurdles to real communicating? Believe me—they simply clutter conversation (while also exhibiting more social faux pas then folks seem willing to admit).

Adding insult upon injury,a lot individuals jump into response mode mid interaction,to make sure once that pause between sentences ends one-will utter either “um-hmm”or “oh yeah”.

All-in-all, understanding the speaker’s lens as well as the listener’s can help parties understand more when it comes to effective communication. It may be challenging at times but necessary in high-stakes scenarios where incompetence can lead to failed objectives.

Relevance Theory

And psychology tells us that so much of how we communicate is not just what we say, but rather what we imply. Relevance theory refers to this idea, and states roughly that:in order for language to be properly understood both parties must share enough common ground such they are ultimately able to interpret implicatures embedded within their conversations.

In other words,effective communication requires youto use context and shared knowledge/inferences with your hearers. That’s why knowing your audience/recipientis extremely important; having a good sense of who they are helps greatly increase the possibility of correctly processing messages throughout.

Final Thoughts

Assembling information into true conversation paired with interpretation serves significant purpose in our world today. However depending on how emotion or tactics or potentially manipulative means come into play, our brain either tunes out completelyor resist even amplifying misunderstandings further through biased lens/practice.

If you find yourself struggling with an ineffective interaction from time-to-time (as does everyone), try focusing specifically on identifying which filters may currently be impacting both perspectives during interactions!This kindof analytical method will allow vital insights enablingboth listenersand speakers alike make adjustments needed for stronger,more consistent communication opportunities – which many claim is indeed a life lesson applicable in all areas.Supplementing great written materialswith knowledgebase regarding communicating overall has never been so necessary now than before!

So,in conclusion: listening(or viewing — remember nonverbal speaks volumes too!) takes intentional effort combined with speaking meaningfully plus ensuring vocabulary used accurately portray intended ideas(navigating potential biases along way).Whether training newly-hired employees,facilitating group meetings,negotiating deals,or simply catching up with friends via technology,communication skills can will always have significant impact on in both personal lives and professional settings overall.