Communication vs Comprehension

I spent part of my past year teaching children how to understand what they read. (I tell you, that in itself is a skill, but that’s not today’s topic of discussion). One of the lessons that I learned in that period, is that what humans hear, and what they understand, can be 2 entirely different concepts (I legit started to see it in conversation and interaction around me).


If you have ever sat in one of my Personal Branding sessions on Communication, then, we’d have gone through the basics:

  • How communication goes beyond what you say
  • How your choice of words can convey an entirely different meaning
  • How to choose your words to reflect your thoughts and respect the environment so you don’t get misunderstood
  • How to use body language to reinforce what you are saying (or not saying)

…and a whole lot of other stuff. But that’s not what this is about. (If you’re interested in that sort of information, let’s talk about it).


Today, I want us to take a quick look at COMPREHENSION. You see, you can be doing all the right things to communicate your point, but the person is not getting your point for one of several reasons:

  1. They don’t understand you because of their own perception (for more about this, take a look
  2. Their mindset is clouded, because their experiences have not brought them to the point where what you are sharing with them is a possibility in their mind. (Your point just ends up going over their heads).
  3. They already have a firm opinion in mind that they really want to pass across or hold tight to.
  4. They do not want to understand you (probably a bit of fear and/or stubbornness at play here)
  5. I don’t know (lol. You could tell me in the comment section)


Lol. The bottom line is, sometimes, it’s not enough to try to pass your point across as succinctly as possible, because until they understand it, COMMUNICATION has NOT happened. Yup! Take a look at this scenario: you are running late for your test, and you need to send a text message to your professor in advance, so that he’ll let you into the class when you eventually arrive in the class, even though you’d be late and he is not supposed to. Here’s  the deal: that text you sent has not accomplished the goal (of getting you permission or excuse to be late) until it is delivered AND read (preferably acknowledged too). Do you see?


Communication goes way beyond flinging information at people and walking away: you’d often have to deliver your message appropriately, ensure that they understand your point, and then get feedback (this is practically why I enjoy reading your comments and questions in the comment section and in my e-mail. It helps me know where to go next, how to build on what we have and deliver better value, and make us better people). It’s a two-way thing that doesn’t end with making your point, but with implementing the action plan that you generated to move forward from where you are.


Whether you are building a relationship, enjoying a friendship, passing information to your boss, or relating with your child, communicating effectively is pivotal, and the results are best seen when you approach it with an aim to achieve comprehension.


(For more on effective methods of comprehension, I’VE GOT YOU)




Author: Jane Oluwadare
Jane solves hard problems so you don't stay stuck Jane (Hadassah) OLUWADARE is an autistic, dyslexic multi-dimensional woman who uses her different dimensions to amplify one another, and is committed to showing other neurodivergent people how to replicate working wisdom in their respective contexts. In the PKH Network, she brings her various facets, strengths and skills to work together in viable business models, creating solutions for other visionaries, and providing platforms for young people to grow into their own strengths, develop experience and expertise As a data analyst, strategist and business development consultant in PKH Consulting, she sits with business structures to help them identify the gaps in their processes, build the blueprints, strategy, process flows and structures that will get them from where they are to where they want to be. As a productivity and execution coach in PHRONESIS Lighthouse, she works with neurodivergent people to get more productive, and do more with less effort, with particular attention to autistic people and people with ADHD. As a fashion consultant in HSFH, she styles, illustrates, and brings 15+ years of sewing experience to bear as she works to produce and sell stylish clothing that meets sensory, functional and fashionable needs. She teaches creative and trade skills in CriArt Skill Academy, working with neurodivergent children (with particular attention to autism, dyslexia and ADHD) to show them how their natural talents and tendencies can be an advantage inside and outside of the classroom and school curriculum. Utilising games and play as tools, as well as drawing from her own personal experience as a designer, chef and writer she helps them transfer the skills from the creative arts into school subjects and real life. She writes extensively, sharing her thoughts in books, articles and through her various enterprises as creative stories and non-fiction think-pieces available in Books By Hadassah. An International Youth Council member and former Global Youth Ambassador, she sits on the boards of several youth-led organisations in an advisory capacity; and continues to work with others to help develop children and young adults to create a life of impact. At the very core of her being, Hadassah keeps chasing after The One who keeps her balanced and finds the ultimate fulfilment in her fellowship with the Holy Spirit. She quips that He is the real super power that keeps her functioning as an autistic, dyslexic person with ADHD, and often shares the insights He teaches her on Personal Development, Business Development and mindset reorientation according to the Word with Deborah's Court (her ministry expression)

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