Are you a Good Communicator?
Last weekend, I was in a local department store to pick up a back-ordered item that had come in. The store was fairly busy and there was a long line of people waiting in line to checkout. I overheard a nicely dressed lady, who was speaking on her cell phone, use that magical phrase, “What part of “NO” don’t you understand?”
It reminded me of when Nicolas was young. He had some of the greatest phrases. He came home from school one day and stated that we were going to be celebrating “Marfa-Loofa King Day.” He also loved to go swimming in his “bailing suit” and when things were going great he would answer “Okey-Donkey” instead of “Okey-Dokey”! My daughter Isabelle also has some lines to communicate. She loves eating those yummy little green fruits called, “Ba-kiwi’s. Originally, they were “Bikini’s,” but she took our correction well. She also loves to have “Syr-ee-up” on her pancakes and eat “straw-burr-erries.” My wife and I understood what they were saying but others had no clue as to what they were trying to communicate.
There are two great books, “Anguished English” and “More Anguished English” by Richard Lederer that give hilarious examples of miscommunication. Here are some headlines from newspapers that are noteworthy, “Dover Clinic Applauds State’s Unwanted Pregnancy Drive”, “Another Body Found Missing”, and “Nude Man Pulls Knife on Workers.”
In all of the above examples, who is communicating effectively and who is not? When all is said and done, the only meaning your communication has is the meaning the other person interprets from it, not the meaning you intended to communicate. Keeping this in mind could stop a lot of miscommunication and solve a lot of problems. For everyone out there who feels misunderstood, try communicating a different message.
As for our kids, we communicated effectively because we understood what they were trying to communicate even though the words they used didn’t make sense to others. My wife and I found their communications to be quite endearing, once we understood their meanings.
Next time you hear, “What part of “NO” don’t you understand?” in a conversation, you may ask yourself, “What part of “NO” did that parent not effectively communicate to their child?” Chances are, the child heard something very different than what the parent was trying to communicate and the parent was probably way off in what they were expecting their child to know or understand.
If you feel like no one understands you, try communicating in a different way. Use different words, phrases, metaphors or analogies. Remember, the only meaning of your communication is the meaning the other person interprets from it! It is your responsibility to communicate effectively with others.