Feature Communication Articles

Communication Topics

Relatiionship Killer Crossword Puzzle

Challenge yourself and learn about destructive communication with this unique free puzzle.

Featured - Relationship Rescue!

Special Help: Learn To Communicate With Even The Most Upset People and Customers

Don't let difficult, angry customers control you. Learn to take control, stay cool, and remain professional in the toughest situations

Reviewer Praise From Amazon Readers

Bacal nails it! While more are messing with the entanglements of Customer Satisfaction which leads to no where...he addresses the specifics head on and focuses on the greater picture and ultimate goal of the Customer Experience which leads to Loyalty. Excellent job! (Macy in Oklahoma, 2013)
Five Stars on Amazon

One of the best things I learned from this book is how to turn a negative experience into a positive one. Using the tools from this gem of a book I have calmed people down, turned bad situations into good, and kept customers who would have otherwise left us and written ten nasty reviews in their wake. It is so empowering to be able to do that, rather than feel awful and abused. This is a must buy, must read for people who work with customers day in and day out. Do it for your own sanity, and to help improve your own job performance and satisfaction! (E. Meehan, California, 2012)
A five star review

Anyone who serves the public should have this book. It gives advice for everyone from the order taker at the fast food restaurant to higher level management. It also gives different techniques for different situations (ie retail store, office, call center etc.) I have only had this book for a few weeks and already I have improved my customer service skills. It's a wonderful tool.  (Lisa S. NJ)
Another satisfied reader

Available In Print From The Following

buy it at amazonBuy it in Canada from amazonBuy it in the U.K/Europe

Available As Instant Download At

Buy it in Kindle Format (lowest cost)

Download in PDF Format For Exact Printed Replica

Presuppositions - Important in understanding misunderstandings in communication

What is a "presupposition" and why is it important in communication?

A presupposition is a background belief (something that sits, unsaid, and helps provide meaning about what a person says). It's a common term in linguistics. When a person says something (makes an utterance), the meaning of that sentence has to do with the words, etc, but the meaning only exists within the context of what else is in the person's head that provides meaning.

When two people are trying to communicate, and their presuppositions are not known to each other, that's when misunderstanding takes place.

Let's take an example that you'll be familiar with. Someone says:

Did you stop beating your spouse?

Under what circumstances does that question have meaning? What presuppositions are required for it to make sense and be understood?

It presupposes that "you" have a spouse. It also presupposes that you WERE beating your spouse. The question makes no sense without that supposition, since why would a person ask you if you stopped doing something you were never doing anyway?

The problem in communication is that if one person has a set of presuppositions (you beat your spouse), and the other knows that s/he never beat the spouse, AND, those presuppositions are not placed out in the open, how can you have an intelligent dialogue. Of course, what happens is a nasty argument.

When trying to understand what someone has said, apply Miller's Law, and dig deeper with questions to surface the person's presuppositions. When talking, make a conscious effort to put any critical presuppositions you have on the table so they can be discussed.

Linguistically, the reason we have presuppositions is that they are necessary to shorten what we say. If we had to speak every detail underlying what we are trying to say, we'd never say anything. Language is shorthand. Presuppositions allow us to use linguistic shorthand.


About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992. Since then Robert has trained thousands of employees to deal with angry, hostile, abusive and potentially violent customers. He has authored over 20 books on various subjects, many published by McGraw-Hill.


Robert Bacal

About The Company
About Our Seminars
About Our Websites
Privacy Policy

Our Related Websites

Building Bridges Between Home And School For Educators
Just for teachers, administrators and school staff

Angry Customer Guides and Defusing Techniques
Hundreds of tips and techniques for dealing with nasty people.

Customer Service In Government

A site dedicated to those in the public sector who deal with difficult, angry, frustrated taxpayers.

Bacal & Associates Store
Free and paid guides, books, and documents on business, management and more.

We Believe

  • Training sessions should ALWAYS be customized to fit YOUR context.
  • Our role is to make you self-sufficient and self-sustaining.
  • Fees should be reasonable, fair, and flexible to fit different budgets.
  • The only way to further success is to challenge the existing "wisdom" through critical thinking and basing our services and books on a complex reality.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (613) 764-0241
  • Email: ceo@work911.com
  • Address:

  • Bacal & Associates
  • 722 St. Isidore Rd.
  • Casselman
  • Ontario
  • Canada, K0A 1M0

<-- amazoninternationalcode --> <-- end -->