How to Communicate to Someone Who Just Can’t Get It

Yes, I am primarily a motivational speaker now, but I started out as a trainer and I discovered a lot about how to teach someone something that they just couldn’t seem to understand, inspite of your best efforts.  Here’s one I learned early on:

When you’re explaining something to someone and they don’t get it, telling them that they are making it too hard, or saying, “I already told you this”, really, really, REALLY doesn’t work.  I know that YOU don’t mean anything negative by it, but since the meaning of the message lies only in what the RECEIVER takes it to mean, it is HIGHLY likely that they will interpret it to mean that you think they are stupid.  And if they think that, they are NOT going to relax and say, “Oh my gosh, I AM making this too hard.  I really AM an idiot.  Oh thank you so much for pointing that out.”

Nope. Not likely.

You could instead say, “I know this can be confusing at first. Let me say it another way…”

Now before you say, “OH NO, it’s not confusing! He’s just an idiot!” please consider that it just might be confusing to someone else.   And if you hear them say things like, “I don’t know why I can’t get this,” just calmly and patiently reply, “No worries! Everybody learns in different ways. We’ll just keep working on it and you will get it.  I have no doubt!

That will relax the person enough that they just MIGHT be able to understand!

From your motivational speaker, Linda Larsen



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. This needs to be said to all the school teachers in the world!  Messages embed so deeply on children and we know how long it can last!!  Thank you, Linda, for reminding us to hear it and speak it another way!

  2. Beautiful advice from a beautiful woman.

  3. Linda – this is great advice.  I really am a slow learner at somethings and Frenchie is constantly telling me things over and over again.  I need to remind him, it takes me longer to learn than him!  It reminds me of Matt Damon’s character in ‘Good Will Hunting’ where he wanted to play with his girlfriend and she was doing complicated homework.  He said he could do it for her in minute and they could play hooky and go to the dog races.  She was awestruck that he could just look at math problems and solve them.  I so can not relate to that!

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