Seek to Be Understood
It’s a hassle to share difficult truths. You’re not only trying to make your voice heard in a strange and cluttered sea of untruths, you’re discussing difficult subjects that cause resistance. Surely that’s the challenge of a lifetime. But the difficulties don’t stop there. Sharing information is not the same as being understood — and to be understood takes particular effort.
Most problems don’t require more data. They require more insight, more innovation and better eyes. Information is what we call it when a human being takes data and turns it into a useful truth.– Seth Godin
You’re not doing this because you simply want to say something; you want something to be received and understood. You want it to have meaning for the listener. Here we remind you to consider how you can help a multiplicity of listeners to hear and to understand what you’re delivering in a way that is reasonably close to your intention, and is useful to them.
Utilize Teaching Techniques
Search out best practices that can help to effectively convey information, such as:
- When introducing a topic, be patient and use a great deal of detail and loving attention.
- Introduce your audience to a “nugget” or phrase that can be used later when referring to topics previously explained.
- Whenever possible, consider metaphors to help your audience relate to the topic.
- Be sure to employ the greatest teaching technique of all time: story.
- Consider a tone and word choice that specifically gives the listener a sense of being seen as a sovereign being who gets to choose whether your information resonates for them.
- Explicitly state your motives in sharing information.
- Explicitly express all the assumptions and foundations upon which your information is based.
Build A Bridge of Understanding
The people who could benefit by learning your message have a variety of existing knowledge and belief systems. In order for them to hear you, to comprehend, and to effectively respond, they need particular information and “hand-holding.”
This is not to say you must slice-and-dice your message for various population segments. While that may also be effective, the point here is to build a bridge for people who are not at your level of knowledge, and who hold belief systems contrary to your truth.
I am suggesting a subtle shift from attempting to:
Get the truth out
to attempting to
Build a bridge of understanding
Following are some strategies to help you do that.
- Identify places where people tend to get confused, or don’t see connections.
- Commit to filling in the blanks and connecting the dots. (However, whenever such a step requires opinion rather than observation or research, then consider leaving the questions for the listener to consider.)
- Since dark motives of people in your story may be particularly difficult for audiences to accept, consider how you might help with this. For example, you can share information on sociopaths or you can share stories they are familiar with that show the motive you’re featuring. Another consideration is using specific, detailed, verifiable data, such as that found in U.S. Government Crimes Against Civilians.
- Refine your messages. See below for considerations.
Refine Your Messages
Here are a few general strategies that you can incorporate into your existing approach.
Start with what you know and then, step-by-step, back the story up, looking for built-in assumptions that your audience might not be aware of. Use these as opportunities to teach about related information that can help individuals better hear and understand your particular story.
Ask yourself, what assumptions are built into your story that the audience may be uninformed about? This may take some thought as some things will be so natural to you that you don’t think of them. Bird’s Eye View offers assistance with this task by breaking subjects down into component parts, making it easier for you to identify such opportunities.
For example, if your story includes MK Ultra, then we can assume that there are many potential listeners who are uneducated, partially informed, and/or misinformed on the many aspects of this subject. In other words, for many listeners there are a whole lot of steps between where they are now and where they would need to be in order to effectively process the story you have to share.
To continue with this example, you can take note that a vital foundational subject built into this topic is the trauma response called dissociation. The listener needs a strong understanding of the natural, protective human response to dissociate traumatic experiences. Without this understanding, they simply cannot make the connection of how trauma-based victimization could result in mind control.
As you refine your messages in an attempt to build bridges of understanding, another metaphor could be that you leave breadcrumbs that some individuals can pick up and some can step over. So, for example, let’s say that you primarily speak to an audience that already knows about dissociation and so, typically, you don’t think to mention it. But if you begin to include this topic (or explain where listeners can learn more), then your speeches and writings transform into a tool that can help more people step forward on their path of understanding.
In another example, truth-tellers might causally use the phrase “Deep State” or mention any of a number of topics that are 1) not yet accepted by mainstream audiences and/or 2) have been co-opted or misused so that mere mention of the phrase causes some people to tune out.
For well-informed truth-seekers, the topics and words may be commonplace. But for others, the words and concepts sound absurd. So, if you are a speaker who has a story that may appeal to a broader audience and you’d like to try and reach across the chasm to an uninformed listener, you have a couple of options:
- If such statements aren’t necessary in order to share a message, then by eliminating allusions to such topics, you may keep from turning off some potential listeners
- Or, you can build a bridge for the listener to help them learn why and how such statements could be true. You can speak or point to the pieces that will help to form the stepping stones forward for the listener.
Be Mindful of Opinions & Inconsistency
One unacknowledged opinion slipped into a sea of facts can cause a listener to question everything that came before. As a result, you might consider these techniques:
- Allow the listener to “fill in the blanks” with their own suppositions as opposed to offering your own.
- When offering an opinion, state that you are doing so.
- Note that it’s tempting to use opinions when you’re attempting to make meaning of discrete pieces of evidence. While this may, in some cases, serve an excellent purpose, doing so should be called out clearly so that there is room for other potential meanings or narratives to come up in the future.
- Prevent having to take a defensive position about inconsistency by acknowledging it upfront. If you’ve said one thing, and now your knowledge base has grown, explain how what you’re saying is different from a previous statement, and why.
- Consider educating listeners about the topic of inconsistency and stability of information in general. You may wish to explain that inconsistency in the sense of a liar who can’t keep his story straight is something we’re all familiar with. But there is something different that happens when the subject is true but is also complex or involves investigation of things shrouded in secrecy. In these situations, there is naturally an ever-growing and changing base of information and knowledge. This is simply the way learning and knowledge work. Through discernment, it can be seen that what has changed is reasonable and logical. You may wish to note that sources who are growing and learning indicate the very hallmarks of expertise and wisdom.
- It appears that some people choose to lie because it’s easier than admitting errors or explaining inconsistency. Consider taking the time to admit errors and explain inconsistency.
Choose Words Wisely & Define Often
Words are tricky things. And, indeed, this becomes more obvious when a topic is deeply meaningful. Here are some tips for choosing your words wisely.
- Prioritize making word choices that increase understanding.
- If there’s ever any question of a word being misunderstood, define it.
- Be mindful about identifying words that may get in your way. Watch out for co-opted words. Sometimes defining a word as you wish to use it isn’t enough to overcome resistance to a word based on common usage or association with a concept contrary to your intention.
- Become knowledgeable of words and phrases that may be particularly triggering for some.
Always Offer Actions
- Provide ways for the listener to respond to what they’ve learned.
- While an action may be as “simple” as sitting with a dark truth and processing, please commit to helping listeners identify healthy and productive responses.
- You can get ideas here: What You Can Do and Where to Start.
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