I learned that just because we all speak the same language doesn’t mean we all speak the language.
~Madonna (Her reflections on the years she spent living in Europe)
Leaders must learn the differences between intent and expression. These two are often misinterpreted to the detriment of the leader and/or the organization. It’s our job to investigate, dissect and make certain that we are clear about what we are communicating and what has been communicated to us. Note: I didn’t say “agree” I said understand. How many times have you heard, “Bob we are saying the same thing, we are just saying it in two different ways.” This classic comment is the result of people who are interpreting information differently. When this occurs, but is not resolved, we have an unnecessary difference of opinion which can sabotage the goals and objectives of the group. Before you go out guns blazing take a step back and make sure you are on the same page. Whether you agree or disagree with what is being said, just make sure you understand what is being communicated, that’s the first step.