Complete Story


Grunt If You Are Hearing Me

By Linda Larsen

There is no one for whom good communication is more critical than airline pilots.
They must be able to clearly hear and understand the transmissions they receive.
But what I've learned is that it doesn't stop there. There is another step that is
equally as important in their communication model.

After hearing the transmission, they must confirm that they received it.

Here's the exact transmission I heard once when I was a passenger in a small
plane preparing to take off:

Controller: "6686 Delta, taxi into position and hold."

Pilot (as he taxied): "6686 Delta taxiing into position and holding for takeoff."

Controller: "6686 Delta, cleared for take-off."

Pilot: "6686 Delta, cleared for take-off. Starting take off roll."

The air traffic controller does not assume that the pilot hears what they are
saying. They expect confirmation that they were heard.

Isn't this a terrific model for all of us? Here are a few applications:

1. When you get an email, unless they specifically say, "no need to get back
to me," hit reply and type, "got it," "thanks," "I'll check on this and get back
to you." Something that lets them know you got the message.

2. When someone is telling you something, do not assume that simply giving
them eye contact will indicate your understanding. Tell them that you
understand, or that you need more information if you don't.

3. Someone makes a comment like, "Wow, I really liked that movie." Give
them some kind of indication you heard them: "Me, too," "I'm not sure how
I feel about it," "Well of course you would like it, you're weird." (Okay -
maybe not the last one.)

Bottom line: If you are the RECEIVER of someone's message, whatever form
that takes - let them know you heard them.

Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE is a Hall of Fame Speaker, professional
actress, best-selling author and serious lover of doggies. Linda
speaks at conferences and meetings around the world, helping
people bring the very best version of themselves to life every day!
She can be reached at or 941-927-4700.

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