My co-workers and I found or co-created this sequence in the 1990’s when we were facilitating workshops for child and youth program teachers and administrators. I do not know the source but find the awareness helpful in understanding miscommunication and the need to actively listen. 

– Jules Assata

  1. What the speaker intends to say
  2. What the speaker actually says; what words come out of their mouth
  3. What the receiver hears~ environmental influences on what gets heard (cars, wind, noises)
  4. What the receiver believes the speaker intended to say with their words ~ personal culture and bias influence what someone believes another person meant
  5. What the receiver intends to express in return
  6. The words the receiver actually says; what comes out of their mouth
  7. What the first person hears~ environmental influences
  8. What the first person believes the receiver intended to say with their words

At any point miscommunication may occur, which is why it is so important to;

Consider your words carefully before speaking

Understand how impediments and personal culture impact what others hear and what it means to them

Make sure you’ve actually heard the words the speaker intended to say~ active listening~ 

repeat back and check that you heard right

Make sure you understand the intention the speaker has for what they said~ active listening, 

“Did you mean…?”~ gives the speaker an opportunity to review, clarify, adjust

Give each other the benefit of the doubt; be sure you understand before responding, reacting

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