Over the telephone my boss gives me an instruction. I hear it, give my recognition, hang up then realize that I am not clear on exactly what it is that I am to do. Something about the proper way to add up my hours is the basic message, but the way she has explained it is not clear to me. Yet. As far as she is concerned, every word she spoke, that is, the way she described her instructions, was perfectly spelled out. She sits in her office confident that her explanation is clear, while I sit behind my desk like some detective trying to solve this great mystery. Although I understood every word she spoke, what she spoke does not register. No eureka bells are setting off. I have trouble decoding her words. I cannot apply the words she's "transmitted." I am experiencing communication problems.
This happens all the time. As in the case just described, somewhere between her message and my reception of it, the meaning got lost. To the best of her knowledge, she has gone over a procedure that I have successfully grasped. But it remains unclear to me because I do not understand the way in which she is presenting it. To my boss, it is of course direct and sound, as it is from her mind that the words and thoughts are being emitted. However, as soon as they collided with my own thinking processes they lost complete lucidity. My faculties tell me she is talking but saying nothing sensible. Her faculties tell her her circular sentences are making sense. I periodically acknowledge what she is relaying. She keeps relaying. We are communicating. But are we really?
Given this situation, one is led to consider whether it is possible that, that is, can it be that, true communication is impossible? After a...
... middle of paper ...
...y did her presentation of the information pose a problem? Considering we should have understood each other by the virtue of the fact that we speak the same language, this should not have been the case. As a matter of fact, this case shows that even though we were using the same language I could not decipher her meaning. Her mind works in ways that mine does not. And if it is through our minds that we formulate information, then how can it be that what we are communicating will be received in its true form? No two minds work alike nor are their two beings which feel alike. Therefore, how can anyone know exactly what is being communicated? Each of us has a one-of-a-kind make-up. And though, yes, we do understand the use of words and their semantic properties, the fact that we even have to use words to effectively communicate alone makes true communication questionable.
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