“no one ever told me”

Russell Minick Leave a Comment

I corrected myself during a teaching session last Sunday.  I started saying “No one ever taught me…” but then I paused.  I corrected myself “I don’t remember learning…”.  Why?

I’ve been noticing some examples of people not remembering ever having been told things that I know they were told.  Quite simply communication failed and the easiest hypothesis for why a message was not received is too often “no one ever told me”.

It isn’t a terrible hypothesis.  It does happen sometimes.  But I’m losing confidence in it as a default explanation for communication failure.  More likely a number of things are going on, including “I wasn’t ready to hear that when it was told to me”.

Effective communication is much more labor intensive than we would like.  Because we sometimes are able to experience the appearance of understanding and being understood with little effort, we like to think that is the norm.  Of course, those who are ready to hear this already know this, and those who aren’t won’t remember reading it.  😉

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