How do I know what I think until I see what I say

We are on a family holiday in Spain right now and as I was coming out of the pool yesterday, my 7 years old said, “daddy you are all tanned”.

I said, “more or less.”

To this he responded, “less” and my 11 years old daughter laughed.

It was a moment of realisation that without a common language there can be no organising and organisation.

Your language is the limit of your imagination.

The 7 years old had never before heard the expression “more or less” and so he did not know what to respond.

Almost all mishaps (failed marriages, delayed projects, unhappy customers, technical failures and accidents) can be singled down to misunderstandings. You meant one thing and it was understood in another way. That is why learning to understand text (language) as image is critical to improving trust. Long before we developed the capability to read text, we were able to process images. We are verbal, visual and relational creatures – that’s how we make decisions and relate with each other.


E.M. Forster once said, “how do I know what I think until I see what I say.”

When we map conversations using the iCue method, one of the things that is shocking to most people is the power of words. A common reaction is ‘did I just say that?

I spotted this building during a recent trip to Athens and to my mind it says it all.

True listening is not about how well we hear others speak but what we interpret and understand from their words.