Message, meaning, intention & listening


Message, meaning and intention

Communication depends on what the sender intends, how they encode the message or information, and how the listener decodes and interprets the message.

Messages do not contain a single objective meaning; in fact, messages are given meaning by both the sender and receiver.

The meaning given by both sender and receiver is rarely exactly the same, so the level of misunderstanding and miscommunication depends on, how closely the shared meaning is to both the sender and the receiver.

Because of this high risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding, a message needs to be as transparent as possible. The message needs to be accompanied by the intention behind it.


Good listening means ‘listening critically’.

Listen to what the other person is saying and be curious about what they really think. Essentially, we should all avoid relating everything the other person says to our own personal perception of the world.

Listen to what they are ‘really’ saying and what they ‘really’ mean.

Good listening is not only essential for effective communication, but it helps build rapport – 82% of people prefer to talk to great listeners.

Some language cultures have a strong tendency towards passive listening. Others have a more active approach. In a speech or presentation, a speaker can create active listening by changing tone and speed, asking questions and involving his/her audience in other ways, e.g. give the listeners a problem to solve, tell them a story or use fascinating and/or surprising facts. 





• Messages are given meaning by both the sender and the receiver – meaning is rarely exactly the same.   





Avoid relating everything the other person says to your perception of reality.   





82% of people prefer to talk to great listeners.  





Some language cultures contain passive listeners and some active listeners.