Do you understand me? A better way to communicate.
Let’s take a seemingly simple situation. You want to make sure that the person you are talking to can understand you clearly. So you ask, “Do you understand me?” Or, they did not understand you, and you say, “You don’t understand.” But how is that coming across? What are you actually saying?
Others hear that you are being rude and confrontational, and that you are doubting their intellectual capacity. But that’s how you learned to say it in the English class, right? Though these two phrases are grammatically correct, very often they are inappropriate.
“If you do this again, you are grounded! Do you understand me?” warns an upset parent the unruly child.
“You don’t understand! – No, you don’t understand!” yell quarreling partners.
“Are you following me?” “Are you with me? Or am I rambling on?” – checks professor with the students.
So how to say it politely that you don’t understand? “I’m not sure I understand,” or “I’m not sure I’m following.”
How do you explain that you are being misunderstood? “That’s not what I meant.”
And to make sure you are understood, you can say: “Am I making sense?” “Does that make sense?” “Does that make sense to you?” “Am I explaining clearly?”
Do you want to advance your carrier and build lasting relationships with people? Improve your English and your communication skills. Always know the right thing to say with Power English System: what to say and how to say it. And if you are interested in learning English with me online, stay tuned for the Power English Class announcement. (Power English Class for Russian speakers is currently open. Power English Class for speakers of other languages is coming soon.)
© 2010 Natasha Cooper
Do you want to use this article on your website or in your newsletter? You may, but you MUST include this complete text with it: Natasha Cooper, Power English Coach, teaches international professionals real-life English skills and successful communication strategies. Get FREE Power English Tips at http://www.powerenglishcoach.com