Communication, Interpretation, and Disconnects

Have you ever said something that you thought was really clear, but someone understood in a completely different way? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some computer or app that could figure out what another person really meant in their communication to you, so that you could just understand them? This is a significant problem in human interaction that has been around since the Tower of Babel (and probably before).

Confused Speech

The ancient story of God’s dispersion of the builders by confusing their language still seems to play itself out in the modern world of software development. Business analysts speak with clients, share requirements with designers, who in turn share designs with developers, and eventually computer software is built. But so often, the customer is confused with the eventual system upon delivery. Just today, I discussed a software issue with a client and realized that what they expected from the system was different from what we heard them tell us in the requirements for the software. Sadly, that miscommunication is now “water under the bridge” and we’re left trying to sort out what should be done.

Wisdom For Effective Communication

Obviously, there are other areas where miscommunication happens. In marriages, families, governments, friendships, and more; what you mean isn’t always what is heard, and it seems that words are a very imperfect conduit to convey emotions or an ideas. It’s for this reason that I pray for wisdom each day, to God (who generously gives wisdom to those who ask Him) because He has perfect understanding and is able to help me to use words that might be more effective.

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. (Pro 18:4 ESV)