Conveying sensitive messages

When conveying sensitive messages, taking the time beforehand to acknowledge our own mixed feelings, disappointments, anger, and the root reasons for them can help ensure that when we do deliver these types of messages that our intent and our non-verbal signals are originating from integrity and sincerity.

Too often in my own past, I have not done this and realized later that my anger or irritation was not directed toward the person I was communicating with.  In times, when I have taken the time to reflect, offenses toward others have been resolved - message delivery was more effective .

And, those unintended nuances were avoided.


Nuance is defined as “a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound”.  In terms of communication, this can be: body language, tone, double meanings, facial expressions, information deliberately excluded, eye contact (or lack thereof), or implications left to be interpreted by the receiver.

Congruency between our words and body language, tone, eye contact, and facial expressions will enforce the message.  If there is a discrepancy between our words and these non-verbal signals, the receiver of our message may miss our message and our intent.