Can a conversation be confusing

Why are conversations confusing – Is it due to the speaker?

For a conversation to work, it needs to be two-way. In the previous blog I gave suggestions for improving your listening skills to gain clarity in a conversation. Now let’s look at what can be done to help the speaker converse with clear information that the other person can understand.

English is an interesting language. It is always expanding and words change meaning depending on the context.  For example: diet can be an encouraging word or a destructive word.  Diet is an encouraging word when it refers to creating a healthy lifestyle so your body gets the fuel it needs. It is a destructive word when it refers to the exclusion of many foods that you want or may need so you can diet to lose weight. Having several meanings can cause confusion and misunderstanding when you are not conveying your message clearly.

Being the speaker, to overcome the possibility of a confused conversation, you want to clarify with the listener whether they understood what you meant.  To do this you need to ask questions of the listener to make sure they were listening and they understood.  This is usually something you do with child and teenager. However it can also be done with your team, co-workers or your manager as long as you do it with a sense of curiosity and you let them know you are just clarifying what you said as you want to make sure that what you said made sense.  In this way you are taking the responsibility for the communication.

So, words can be confusing and as you listen to the other person, you are not listening for what you said, but rather you are listening for what you meant for the other person to understand.  Listen and work out if they did or did not get what you wanted to communicate.

When you are speaking with another person, what you are implying may not be the same as what you said.  You are responsible for making sure that what you mean to say and what you do say are very similar.  If they are not, then the other person could leave the conversation not understanding you.

In a conversation, all parties are responsible for what they mean to say, what they do say and how well they listen.

Have a great day achieving your success.


David Donahoo

Communication Coach, NLP Trainer, Hypnotherapist

P.S.  My next NLP Practitioner 8 day workshop for 2015 begins on November 5, 2015 in Mt Waverley.  To find out more visit NLP Practitioner Training  and register your interest or email David at:  


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