Crystal Clear

My grandfather, George T. Seamon, had a lot of flavorful expressions including "Clear as mud" to describe something that made no sense to him whatsoever.

I participate in several on-line discussion groups related to my field, workplace learning and organization development. Sometimes the discussions at these boards get quite heated. Recently there was a most interesting exchange about being clear in one's communication. One writer wrote: "Being absolutely crystal clear about the meaning of what we are saying, so that each person on the list attaches exactly the same meaning to what each of us is saying would lead to more powerful, intentional, authentic conversations."

Ah, if only we could be crystal clear in our communication with others. More often, our communication with others is "clear as mud."

Trouble is, meanings are not in words. Meanings are in people. This concept was developed by David Berlo.

If meanings were in words, all we would need is dictionaries. As we know, having dictionaries, while often very useful, is nevertheless insufficient.

Since meanings are in people, not in words, we need other tools for achieving greater clarity and understanding.


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