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A thought-provoking and interesting article! While working on our YTT (Management – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) assignment, I asked leaders and professionals about the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be an effective leader, today and tomorrow. The most repetitive answer I received was - knowledge of communication- what to communicate, who to communicate and how to communicate; communication skills and the right attitude while communicating. This article has reminded me how large its importance is, more so of its components, which are intent and impact. As you mentioned, any gap between the intended message and the message that is received is detrimental. This applies to professional situations as much as it does to personal ones. And the feedback loop becomes imperative in such cases. Even if the message is not communicated in a clear way, the feedback partly fills the knowledge gap, if not the communication gap, so that there is a possibility of rephrasing and sending across the message again. I have been on both the sides of situations where the impact the message had, was completely different from the intention. Situations where what I said was understood as something totally against the person, even when I had no such intent. Such gaps in intention and impact deeply affect relationships – both personal and professional. Sometimes, if the impact is not right, there is no scope of getting feedback, since the damage gets done. This intention-impact gap is not only applicable in verbal communication but also in written communication. My manager at my previous organisation sent me a mail regarding the discussion and conclusion from a meeting and the implied message would totally change my role and responsibilities. When I discussed it with him, he explained that it was not meant for the short-term but for the long-term growth opportunities. Such ambiguity in work-environment may also create unnecessary stress and a negative environment. Here, I had an opportunity to seek clarity, but in cases where the interaction happens for a very limited period, it becomes essential to pass the right message to the right person along with seeking approval. Except social media, almost all the other mass media channels like TV, radio, print media are one-way with no provision of providing feedback. This is the main reason why social media is increasingly becoming popular and digital marketing using social media is at the first page of every company’s plan for the next few years. The audience has become intelligent and more aware through these media and it does not take much time for a brand to come from riches to rags in case the gap in intention and impact is more than acceptable. An example of this is Pepsi’s controversial ad featuring the American fashion model Kendall Jenner. Although it was not supposed to be related to the Black Lives Matter movement, the set-up reminded people of the same, and it caused a huge backlash. This ad, according to people in the US, was unexpected from a brand like Pepsi. This also led to a conspiracy theory which proves the gap theory of curiosity from Made to Stick. Feedback is thus important, only when the situation is such that it would matter and when the scale is relatively smaller.

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