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Understanding Vs Agreement

Understanding vs Agreement

Understanding vs Agreement

Whether you are presenting ideas, discussing plans, or negotiating with others, it is crucial to ensure that you can make your listeners clearly understand.

However, gaining understanding is just the first step. To achieve your goals, you also need to gain agreement from your audience.

  • Understanding means that others comprehend the exact meaning of your message.
  • Agreement means that they think what you are saying is good, right and true.

Understanding should come before agreement.

Therefore, the first thing to do is to make yourself clearly understood.

Followed by gaining their agreement.

It may be the case that they understand what you are saying, but they disagree.

That is just a fact of life.

Not everyone will agree with what you say. But we should strive for universal understanding.

You should be able to make yourself always understood, even if they do not agree.

Ideally, you would like to gain both their understanding and agreement.

How to Make People Understand

To make people understand you need to:

  • use specific language
  • give definitions
  • use illustrative examples
  • use numbers to express exact times, places, and quantities
  • speak slowly enough to allow people to keep up with your presentation.

How to Gain Agreement

We gain their agreement by giving sufficient reasons to believe that what we are saying is true, right, good, practical, and fair.

The clearer your message, the easier it is to gain both understanding and agreement.

Remember that understanding comes from using clear language, and agreement comes from giving sufficient reasons to believe.

It is important not to invert the correct order and put agreement before understanding.

Coming to agreements before we have gained mutual understanding, leads to conflicts.

What happens when we sign agreements based upon misunderstanding? There is conflict.


As a professional person, your goal is to communicate effectively and achieve your objectives.

To do this, you must gain both understanding and agreement.

By following the right order and using clear and specific language, you can communicate your ideas effectively and achieve your goals.

Communication Skills Training

We recommend our Communication Skills Training course for anyone who is involved in making presentations. Learn to communicate with clarity, confidence and persuasiveness!

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Communication - Persuasive Communication

  • How to Gain Co-operation
    In order to achieve any goal, you are going to need the co-operation of others and, since you cannot use force, you are going to need to gain their willing co-operation.
    Read Article >
  • The Way You Speak to People
    Learn to speak properly to people and you will gain their willing cooperation to help you. Negative talk tends to repel people.
    Read Article >
  • How to Negotiate Properly
    Successful negotiation needs careful thought and proper preparation. Take a look at the common negotiation errors that people make and learn to avoid them. Careful analysis and a logical approach will allow you to become a successful negotiator.
    Read Article >
  • How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills
    Not everyone is a born negotiator, but negotiation skills can be learned. Being an effective negotiator requires good communication skills, the ability to persuade, planning and tactical skills. Here are ten ways to improve your negotiation skills.
    Read Article >
  • The Rhetorical Triangle
    Persuasive communication is a useful skill, and the rhetorical triangle method will help you express yourself and get your message across to your audience.
    Read Article >

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