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It’s not ‘what’ but ‘how’ that really matters

1 May 2021
paper plane

We’re used to being goal-oriented in our day-to-day routine, and the objective we strive to attain is usually performing our required tasks, as simple or complex as they may be. One central tool we use as human beings is oral communication, both tacit and explicit. That said, we often encounter different people relating to us and our content differently. Sometimes, the same person may relate to the same content differently on different occasions. So, what changed? Why does the same subject lead to such a wide range of response each time?

The way words are said can substantially alter the message they convey. It is the feeling we convey to the listener that isn’t confined to what we said.


As Knowledge Management personnel in a world which hardly uses the term, it’s important to pay extra attention to this issue. We will often decide on a certain organizational change or process while other relevant parties are either unaware of its importance or disagree upon it. Therefore, picking the intonation and communication most appropriate for the message we wish to convey is highly important for gaining our colleague’s support of our idea or task we wish to implement.


Focusing on the way we convey messages will be especially helpful in cases in which the need for change is unclear to the organization in which we’re operating. It is also vital for organizations fixated on a familiar work method and change is met with doubt and worries.

It’s important to develop interpersonal flexibility and sensitivity and be as aware as possible of the cultural and personality-oriented differences between us and our colleagues, and thus substantially improve the manner in which what we say is received.


We must learn to adapt our communication methods to the receiving end of our message and the context in which it is conveyed. This skill is crucial for generating greater trust and better inter-cultural work relationships, and thus implement changes and lead processes in the optimal and most efficient manner.

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