Nipping your interpersonal problems in the bud

When it comes to the interpersonal realm, the best preventative medicine is to assume that you won’t be understood. 

That your message won’t be received in the exact way that you want it to. 

Which may sound pessimistic, but it’s really just realistic. 

Because most people are terrible audience members. They’re too distracted, defensive, biased and judgmental. They’re not listening as much as they are waiting to talk. 

And so, assuming that you won’t be understood allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your communication. 

First, it gives you a realistic picture of the interaction you’re about to have. One without expectation or entitlement. One without guarantees of being heard. One without naïve notions of clarity. 

Second, it prepares you to do whatever is necessary to clear things up and defuse conflict before it happens. 

Third, it allows you to nip interpersonal problems in the bud before the escalate. 

When I began giving speeches for a living, my mentor bluntly told me:

Look, nobody in the room is going to remember a single world you say, except the first thing out of your mouth and the last thing out of your mouth. Make it count. 

Initially, that was a deflating reality to accept. But I’m grateful for it. Because under that assumption, instead of being naïve and taking the miscommunications personally and demanding that audiences hang onto every word I said, I accepted it as a challenge to make my opening and closing unforgettable. 

It’s the equivalent to somebody assuming they’re inherently unlucky, if only to give them the motivation to stop buying lottery tickets and double down on the hard work required to win the game of life. 


What would change about your communication if you entered into the dialogue with the assumption that you’re going to be misunderstood?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 

The Nametag Guy in action here!


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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