The single biggest problem in communication

by Andrew Wien


Posted on January 24, 2021


The single biggest problem in communication
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

My wife and I bought our first home a few years ago. At the time, I thought this home was our forever home. We could raise a family and retire without ever having to move again.

What I am learning now, two years later, is we both had a different perspective. She thought that this would be a great starter home. As our careers allowed, we could add to this home or buy a bigger one.


The past week we have been shocked to learn the other person’s perspective. We both recently said things like, “But I thought we talked about this so clearly!” The results speak for themselves… our communication was just an illusion.


Fortunately, there were no real consequences of this illusion. It would not have changed our past actions. I am grateful for the free lesson.

A lot of times, the impact can be much worse. It might lead to poor outcomes for customers, an employee that can’t improve their performance, or a relationship ending.

Where today might you be blind to the illusion that communication has taken place? The problem is we don’t know where our blind spots are.

How might you test if effective communication took place after a conversation?

​Share your ideas in the comments!

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