1 Communication . GAPS. and How to Close Them Also Available from Dorset House Publishing Amplifying Your Effectiveness: Collected Essays edited by Gerald M. Weinberg, James Bach, and Naomi Karten ISBN: 978-0-932633-47-7 Copyright 2000 160 pages, softcover An Introduction to General Systems Thinking: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg ISBN: 978-0-932633-49-1 Copyright 2001 304 pages, softcover More Secrets of Consulting: The Consultant's Tool Kit by Gerald M. Weinberg ISBN: 978-0-932633-52-1 Copyright 2002 216 pages, softcover Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd ed. by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister ISBN: 978-0-932633-43-9 Copyright 1999 264 pages, softcover Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews by Norman L. Kerth foreword by Gerald M.
2 Weinberg ISBN: 978-0-932633-44-6 Copyright 2001 288 pages, softcover The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg ISBN: 978-0-932633-42-2 Copyright 1998 360 pages, softcover Quality Software Management, Vol. 4: Anticipating Change by Gerald M. Weinberg ISBN: 978-0-932633-32-3 Copyright 1997 504 pages, hardcover Roundtable on Project Management: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue edited by James Bullock, Gerald M. Weinberg, and Marie Benesh ISBN: 978-0-932633-48-4 Copyright 2001 200 pages, softcover The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully by Gerald M. Weinberg foreword by Virginia Satir ISBN: 978-0-932633-01-9 Copyright 1985 248 pages, softcover An Independent Publisher of Books on Systems and Software Development and Management.
3 Since 1984. Contact us for prices, shipping options, availability, and more. Visit for excerpts, reviews, downloads, and more. DORSET HOUSE PUBLISHING. 3143 Broadway, Suite 2B New York, NY 10027 USA. 1-800-DH-BOOKS 1-800-342-6657. 212-620-4053 fax: 212-727-1044. Communication . GAPS. and How to Close Them Naomi Karten DORSET HOUSE PUBLISHING. 3143 BROADWAY, SUITE 2B. NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10027. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Karten, Naomi. Communication gaps and how to Close them / Naomi Karten. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-932633-53-8 (soft cover). 1. Miscommunication. 2. Communication in organizations. 3. Interpersonal Communication . I. Title. K37 2002. 2002067228. Trademark credits: All trade and product names are either trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective companies, and are the property of their respective holders and should be treated as such.
4 PerspectoscopeTM is a trademark of Karten Associates. Cover and Interior Illustrations: Mark Tatro, Rotate Graphics Cover Design: David W. McClintock Executive Editor: Wendy Eakin Senior Editor: David W. McClintock Editor: Nuno Andrade Assistant Editors: Vincent Au, Benjamin A. Deutsch, Jessica N. Stein Copyright 2002 by Naomi Karten. Published by Dorset House Pub- lishing, 3143 Broadway, Suite 2B, New York, NY 10027. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, elec- tronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher. Distributed in the English language in Singapore, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia by Alkem Company (S) Pte.
5 , Ltd., Singapore; in the English language in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Mauritius by Prism Books Pvt., Ltd., Bangalore, India; and in the English language in Japan by Toppan Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2002067228. ISBN: 978-0-932633-53-8. 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Digital release by Pearson Education, Inc., June, 2013. Dedication To my husband, Howard, my adventure-mate. v This page intentionally left blank Acknowledgments Big hugs of appreciation to the following for your ideas, input, inspiration, feedback, and encouragement: Marie Benesh Esther Derby Valla Dana Fotiades Ellen Gottesdiener Paul Jacobson Jean McLendon Helen Osborne Johanna Rothman David Schmaltz Patricia Snipp Robert Snipp Eileen Strider Wayne Strider Jerry Weinberg Doug Whittle and of course, Howard Karten vii viii Acknowledgments Thank you to my many clients for inviting me to consult with you and to provide seminars and presentations for your organ- ization.
6 In the stories and examples I've presented in this book, I've changed all names and revealing circumstances to protect .. well, you know. If you think you recognize yourself in a particular story, read on it might actually be another story that's about you. Wendy Eakin, David McClintock, Jessica Stein, Ben Deutsch, Vincent Au, and Nuno Andrade at Dorset House Publishing, my heartfelt appreciation for your diligent and caring attention to both my concepts and my commas. Mark Tatro, special thanks for cartoons that are so clever and laugh-out-loud funny that you inspire me to keep on writing so that you can continue to provide the artwork. April 2002 Randolph, Massachusetts Contents 1. Mind the Gap 3. The Ability to Communicate 6. Why Communication Gaps Are Prevalent 7.
7 Closing the Gaps 9. Four Contexts 10. Strengthen Your Personal and Organizational Effectiveness 13. Key Recommendations 14. Gaps Galore 16. SECTION 1: Gaps in Everyday Interactions 17. 2. Getting Through: Responsibilities of the Sender 20. Unnoticed Messages 22. Use Creative Titles 23. Create a Captivating Appearance 23. Use Imaginative Opening Lines 24. Try New Ways of Communicating Your Message 24. Misstated Messages 26. Suspect Yourself First 27. Missed Messages 28. Use Multiple Approaches 29. Create a Feedback Loop 30. Cluttered Messages 31. Unclutter Your E-mail Messages 32. Highlight Important Information 33. ix x Contents Hidden Messages 35. Reflection Time 36. Off-putting Messages 37. Notice How You Come Across to Others 39. One-Sided Messages 40.
8 Unexplained Messages 41. Be Forthcoming with Your Reasoning 42. Conflicting Messages 43. Befuddling Messages 44. Get Feedback from Others 45. Informing and Involving 46. 3. Misinterpretations: How Messages Cause Confusion 49. Two People Separated by a Common Language 50. Terminology Disconnects 53. Project Terminology 55. Meeting Terminology 57. Service Terminology 58. Business Terminology 61. Everyday Terminology 62. Clarify, Clarify, Clarify 68. Clarify Interpretations 69. Clarify Agreements 71. 4. Untangling Tangled Interactions: Reaction of the Recipient 73. Let Me Count the Ways 75. Ingredients of an Interaction 76. Intake: Candid Camera, with a Twist 82. Interpretation: Multiple Modified Meanings 85. Feelings: What Happens on the Inside 87.
9 How to Put the Model to Use 92. Application #1: Untangling a Previous Interaction 92. Application #2: Untangling an Interaction in Progress 93. Application #3: Helping Others Untangle Their Interactions 95. Application #4: Untangling Patterns of Behavior 96. Application #5: Understanding the Absence of a Response 97. Application #6: Untangling Common Personal Traps 99. A Few More Guidelines and Some Words of Caution 100. SECTION 2: Gaps in Building Relationships 103. 5. Building a Strong Foundation 106. Working Together, Together 107. Foundation-Building Takes Time and Effort 108. Build the Foundation While Building the House 110. Contents xi Make Contact 112. Find Common Ground 115. Laugh Together 116. Build Rapport 118. Establish Group Norms 120.
10 Manage Expectations 123. Develop Understanding 126. Make Time to Talk 129. Meet Face-to-Face 132. Start Anywhere 134. 6. Appreciating and Benefiting from Communication Differences 135. A Framework for Discussing Communication Preferences 136. Where You Get Your Energy: Extraversion (E) versus Introversion (I) 138. Helping Yourself and Each Other 141. How You Take In Information: Sensing (S) versus Intuition (N) 144. Helping Yourself and Each Other 149. How You Make Decisions: Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F) 150. Helping Yourself and Each Other 153. How You Relate to the World: Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P) 154. Helping Yourself and Each Other 158. It Takes All Kinds 159. 7. Understanding the Other Party's Perspective 160. On Using a Perspectoscope 162.