Someone said to me the other day “I had to say what I said because they needed to hear it.” The only problem? The receiver was so offended, the message was lost before it was ever even finished being read. I know I’ve said it before but it sure bears repeating: What’s the point in being oh-so-right if the receiving party gets so angry at the delivery, the message is lost?
So, what to do? First of all, I think it is crucial to remember, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.”
A new year—- new things to try. Why not turn over a new leaf in the area of communication? Mine is going to be to pass along any good thing I heard said about someone to that person. I strongly believe we need to share good news more than we do. How often do you find yourself sharing bad news? (i.e. “Did you hear about…..?”) But why not pass along the good even more often? When a parent tells me how happy they are to have the teacher they have, I am going to tell that teacher. When a teacher tells me how much they appreciate another staff member’s help, I am going to share that with the person. What better way to share the good? We flew back from Las Vegas on Christmas and my husband and I so enjoyed sharing candy canes and compliments with the folks who had to work in the airports that day. The shuttle bus driver told me she had been feeling down before we shared with her—–it made us feel good too!!
Have you ever had an open sore that won’t heal? Sometimes they get red and swollen, but no matter what, if unattended or if poked and prodded, they can become infected and….well, just plain nasty. Not the prettiest topic the week before Christmas, but the topic of communication is pretty timely right? Many of us are about to spend the holidays with family we only see a few (or less) times a year. Open wounds of unattended topics of communication can leave battle scars in much the same way. How about this Christmas season taking the time to talk about a tough topic with a loved one…..in a loving way?
I try not to ever text while I am in the car, even at a standstill. However, voice-to-text has made texting while moving so easy. One of the teachers at my school was trying desperately to schedule a time for her observation and I was coming back from a meeting. We had tried unsuccessfully to schedule twice and we finally thought we had a date and time that would work for both of us. Using voice-to-text, I said outloud, “Book it!” and sent. No, I didn’t. I NEVER send anymore without looking first and here is the reason why. When I looked down, the text said,
“*****k it!” Oh how grateful I am for editing before sending. Now, if I could just find out why the phone auto-assumes I was cursing!
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When is the last time you said something only to have someone take what you said in a manner in which you did not intend? If it’s been a while, count yourself lucky. If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say to me (at a workshop or even a co-worker), “I didn’t mean to hurt their feelings.” or “I didn’t mean it that way.” Then, why do people MISinterpret each other so often? Likely it has to do with the idea that we all are coming from a different place—–we field so many things in a day and sometimes our wires get crossed. Why not take a moment, before jumping to conclusions, to seek first to understand, then to be understood?
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