One day a Pastor and a Brother took a Visitor fishing by boat. Once in the Middle of the lake, the Pastor said, “I seem to have forgotten my fishing pole, be right back,” and to the visitor’s amazement, he stepped out of the boat and walked on top of the water towards the shore. When he returned, the Brother said, “I need to use the restroom, be right back!” Again, the visitor watched in amazement. Once the Brother returned, not wanting to be outdone, the visitor said “I need to use the restroom too.” As soon as he stepped out of the boat, he sank. The Pastor nudged the Brother and said “We should have told him where the rocks were.”
How do you generally communicate? Talk first, listen after? Listen first, then talk? or some variation of both? Sometimes, we think we are communicating with others when, infact, we are listening to the beat of our own drum, making up assumptions based on incomplete information, or blindly following a line of discussion to the bottom of the sea. When we take time to communicate, we not only respond to matters directed at us, but we ask questions, listen attentively and then respond accurately. The visitor on the boat didn’t even care to ask; How did you learn to walk on water? How often do we engage in similar behavior? We might jump to conclusions or assume that actions taken by X mean Y. Even when a situation appears clear and obvious, it might not confirm what we think anyway.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins
A Dying Deed
Sylve was dying.
His wife sat at the bedside.
He looked up and said weakly, “I have something I must confess.”
“There’s no need to,” his wife replied.
“No,” he insisted, “I want to die in peace.
I slept with you, your sister, your best friend, her best friend, and your mother!”
“I know, I know,” she replied. “Now just rest and let the poison work.
Perception is reality but not always fact. As Tony Robbins explains in the quote above, we all perceive the world differently and therefore, we must take that difference into consideration when we communicate with each other. How many times have you had an exchange with a friend about getting together? What follows the statement? Right, they usually ask follow up questions to ensure they have all the facts about meeting someplace … Sometimes, depending on the tone in which the exchange was made, there might be no further discussion because either the friends don’t plan to meet soon, or know where they always meet. But we should never assume we know or sadly, we’d be like the dying man above… More below!
“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.” Sue Patton Thoele
A thief was caught after stealing some paintings from the Louvre in Paris, when his getaway van ran out of fuel.
Given bail at his first hearing, a reporter asked him on the steps of the courthouse how he forgot such a vital part of his plan.
“Simple,” said the thief, “I had no Monet for Degas to make the Van Gogh.”
When we listen attentively to each other, we might pick up cues that help us understand a situation or, in the case of the thief above, we might understand what he means even when he substitutes the name of a great master to explain his reason for getting caught. Communication matters to all of us but, until we truly listen without preconceived ideas or judgements, we will continue to hear only what we wish to believe… and that is not communication. Have a Great Day!
What are your thoughts? What do you hear when you truly listen? Do you have a humorous story to share about a miscommunication you experienced? Does adding a touch of humor help you share difficult subjects? Do share! Thank you.
*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!
Positive Motivation Tip: A touch of humor can help us communicate better, but we still have to listen and ask pertinent questions.
- Communicating with Purpose, Power and Passion (tatestake.com)
- No Customer is Statistically Insignificant: Inside Scoop with Dave Carroll (customerthink.com)
- Going to the Life Boat! (goodwizard6602.wordpress.com)
- A Simple Way To Figure Out If People Like You (businessinsider.com)
- Cat Humor: Summer Fun Moments (eof737.wordpress.com)
- Meet the people who use humor to heal. (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Humor: Communication Matters… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- How Humor Makes Your Business Better (jeffkorhan.com)