I think the biggest communication problem I have, is that I seem to be able to say things that really piss people off, without any intent on my part.
It almost seems random sometimes. I’ll say something, and then it’ll turn out that the person I’m speaking with has had a bad experience, or manages to interpret what I’m saying as the exact opposite of what I mean.
I used to feel that way. I had a presentation one time at uni. I was a sweating, stuttering mess. It was horrible.
But then, I was suddenly able to stand in front of groups of people and give briefings, lectures etc. without any problems.
I suspect the corner was turned when I went from hating picking up the phone at work, to working in a call centre and handling hundreds of phonecalls a week. It cured my fear of talking on the phone. And running a few business meetings didn’t hurt either.
These days I conduct crew handover meetings and other briefings on a daily basis at work, I co-ordinate things with management, contractors, engineers etc., and it’s like I can’t see what all the fuss was about.
There are still many, many times where I get the rolling eyes from the people I’m talking to though, like they’ve asked me a question, and I’ve answered a completely different question. Or given an answer that puts me in the “idiot” basket. I’m never 100% sure what they want from me, and things which seem clearly to be good and valid ideas to me (and have maybe worked well in other situations) can often be completely misunderstood, or just written off as “he doesn’t know what he’s talking about”.