Everyone talks in code!
How often have you left a meeting with a customer or your boss telling yourself he likes my ideas. Only to find later that you didn’t get the sale or your boss has told everyone that you are crazy.
As we get older it seems to us that everyone talks in code. No one tells us what they really mean. Everything is hidden behind a veil of double talk.
But all is not lost. We found a copy of the code breaking manual on the web site of that well known code breaking magazine, Harpers Magazine.
It’s no ordinary code. This is special. We had many discussions before we decided to reveal the secrets of the code to you.
This is the code you need to understand what us Brits are talking about.
It was found on a wall in the European Courts of Justice and released to the world, by a journalist for The Economist (who else we hear you ask) in 2004. We thought it so important to your survival in the world that we have reproduced it here.
We hope it will change the course of the war against failed communication and create the foundation for ongoing successful conversations.
What they say: I’m sure it’s my fault.
What is understood: It is his fault.
What they mean: It is your fault.
What they say: I’ll bear it in mind.
What is understood: He will probably do it.
What they mean: I will do nothing about it.
What they say: I was a bit disappointed that . . .
What is understood: It doesn’t really matter.
What they mean: I am most upset and cross.
What they say: By the way/Incidentally . . .
What is understood: This is not very important.
What they mean: The primary purpose of our discussion is …
What they say: I hear what you say.
What is understood: He accepts my point of view.
What they mean: I disagree and do not want to discuss it any further.
What they say: Correct me if I’m wrong.
What is understood: Tell me what you think.
What they mean: I know I’m right—please don’t contradict me.
What they say: With the greatest respect . . .
What is understood: He is listening to me.
What they mean: I think you are wrong, or a fool.
What they say: That is an original point of view.
What is understood: He likes my ideas.
What they mean: You must be crazy!
What they say: Very interesting.
What is understood: He is impressed.
What they mean: I don’t agree, or I don’t believe you.
What they say: You must come for dinner sometime.
What is understood: I will get an invitation soon.
What they mean: Not an invitation, just being polite.
What they say: Quite good.
What is understood: Quite good.
What they mean: A bit disappointing.
This may not be a complete list terms used in the code. The sources may be limited. But, it does give an insight into the way we communicate. It gives you a starting point to assess how often, when and where do you talk in code.
Graham and Julie