Don't Hear What I Didn't Say
"Don't hear what I didn't say."
This is something I have told my teen-aged son. Usually when he jumps to an exaggerated conclusion based on something I’ve told him. We adults often make this lapse in effective communication too. We “hear” what we think the other person is saying, based on our own biases, attitudes, emotions and agendas. Better, more effective communication happens when we truly listen and seek clarification when our understanding is impaired.