Don Berry is an electrician and has been very beneficial in keeping our electrical needs resolved here at the church. I’ve also used him on electrical projects at my house.
On one occasion a couple of years ago we had an electrical problem at our home. I called Don up and explained the problem and we agreed on a time when he would be there. Don is usually very prompt and I was concerned when he didn’t show up as promised.
A bit later he called me from his cell phone. He had been at the church and couldn’t find the problem I had described. We had a big misunderstanding. I was describing an electrical problem at my house and he was thinking I was describing a problem at the church. We wasted a half hour of his time over a miscommunication.
I think many of our problems are either mis-speaking or mis-hearing. That is the cause of 90% of the disagreements Anita and I have. I say one thing and she hears another. Then she says something and I hear another. Is there a way out of the mis-communication dilemma? Probably not until we learn to speak the same language.
Let’s try a little harder to hear what each other is saying today.
Tags: hearing, mistakes, misunderstanding
Years ago, when we were still located in the little building downtown, I did a lot of Saturday weddings. Anita was always the neatnick and made sure everything was back in order for the Sunday morning services. She was always frustrated when people went outside on the front porch to smoke. She didn’t mind them smoking, but they would drop their cigarette butts on the cement porch floor. Anita always made sure the cigarette butts were picked up – a job she hated.
After one such wedding, Anita thought to herself, ‘You know, you can anything if you say it kindly.’ So, she approached a group of about five smokers on the porch and said, “We don’t mind you smoking out here, but when you’re finished, would you mind getting your butts off the porch?”
The people just blankly stared at her. A couple of seconds later it dawned on her what she had said and she was thoroughly embarrassed.
Have you ever stuck your foot in your mouth trying to be nice?
Tags: misunderstanding, words
A young boy and his stepfather had difficulty communicating with each other. The man was outgoing; the boy was quiet. The elder loved to fish; the youngster loved to read.
The stepfather, wanting to get close to the boy, took him on a fishing trip. The boy hated it but didn’t know how to tell his stepfather directly. So he wrote him a note saying he wanted to go home. The man looked at it and then stuck it in his pocket.
The fishing trip continued for 4 more days. When they finally returned home, the boy shared his frustration with his mother and told her that his father had paid no attention to his note. His mother said to him, “Son, your father can’t read!”
Part of communication is being able to understand what the other person is thinking. The stepson misunderstood his stepfather’s message when he put the note in his pocket as rejection. Have you ever felt rejected or hurt by someone’s actions that may have been a misunderstanding?
Tags: communication, misunderstanding