Last night, during a panel discussion featuring 10 accomplished Bryant University alumnae, Jaime Diglio - President of SomethingNew LLC, offered some insightful comments about how we should approach the conversations we have with others (she's pictured speaking in this photo of several panelists). Diglio described how each exchange with another individual actually involves three separate conversations. First, there's the conversation going on in your head. What are you thinking and what do you intend to say? Second, there are the words being spoken by you. What are you actually saying? Third, the is the conversation being heard by the other party. What is he or she hearing? How is he or she interpreting what you have said? All too often, what we intend to say is not what we actually say, and what is being heard is not what we think we are communicating. Recognizing the potential misalignment is so important if we are to have meaningful and constructive conversations with others. Testing for understanding is crucial. Asking others to play back what you have said, to confirm your communication, can be a powerful tool for identifying misunderstandings before they become highly problematic.