Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12, 2011


Are you the type of person who thinks before you speak, or do you just blurt out whatever comes into your mind? How about in written communications; are you thinking about what you are typing, texting, or writing, and then do you reread what you have written before you send your message on its merry way? Communication can be a tricky act to learn, and sometimes, it's a lifelong lesson. When communicating with others, learn to clarify the meaning of your correspondence. 

Misunderstandings can arise if we are not clear about what it is that we want to say to another person. Many times we know what we mean when we type up an email, but time may get the better of us, so we forget to add an important detail which could make the message have an entirely different meaning. A lot of feelings may be saved from hurt, grief, anger, and frustration if people would just slow down and think before they try to communicate with others.

Last night, my family received some very disturbing news via an email, and this news had my husband's and my emotions in a whirlwind concerning my husband's job. The message was from my husband's boss and it stated, "Please see me tomorrow concerning you interviewing for a different position."  My husband and I interpreted the message as meaning that my husband was going to be removed from his current position. We were dumbfounded, and our feelings were void and only numbness remained. However, when my husband spoke to his boss this morning, he soon learned that what she meant was that she was supplying his department with a new position, and she wanted to talk to him about him interviewing potential employees for the new job opening.

Be aware of how you are communicating with other people, because they may perceive a totally different meaning from your message than what you may have intended. My family could have been saved a tremendous amount of stress had my husband's boss added a few words to her email, such as "Please see me tomorrow concerning you interviewing potential job candidates for a different position I am adding to your department." See how the meaning of this second message means something totally different than the original message. My husband's boss may have gotten a laugh this morning after my husband explained to her what he thought her message meant, but I can tell you that we were not laughing last night. We were sharing tears and discussing how we were going to overcome this new hurdle which was propelling our way.

If you are not sure what someone means when you receive an email, text, or letter, or even if you are communicating verbally, don't be afraid to ask them to clarify the meaning of their message. Just this past weekend, someone made a comment to me, and I asked them to please explain to me exactly what they meant. Don't always assume that you know the meaning behind every correspondence that you receive, because the sender may mean something totally different than you may be perceiving. Clarify what you mean when communicating with others!

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