Confidence Tip: How misunderstandings happen and how to deal with them

27/02/2015

Partner 1 texts partner 2 on a very cold winter’s morning:
“Windows frozen, won't open.”
Partner 2 texts back: “Gently pour some lukewarm water over it and gently tap edges with hammer.”
Partner 1 texts back 5 minutes later: “Computer really messed up now!”

 

Madeleine Morgan of Growu writes:

The joke reminded me of two things that could be useful to you.

The first is a very challenging quote from David Gordon, “Just because you’re making a noise in my direction, don’t assume you’re communicating with me!”

I remember coaching a manager who was totally frustrated because he’d have long conversations with members of his team to arrive at decisions about what and how they were going to do things only to find that they didn’t do what he thought they were going to do, in the way he thought they’d agreed they would do it.

How many times have you left the scene of a conversation totally confident that the other person knew exactly what you meant, only to find there’s been a complete misunderstanding? Aarghh!

The second thing the joke reminded me about was how easy it is to fall into the trap of wading in with a solution before you know enough about the problem. The risk being that you might give an irrelevant solution, a solution that’s only partially correct or one that’s totally unwelcome because a solution wasn’t being asked for anyway!

So…what can you do to avoid these misunderstandings in the first place and how can you deal with these misunderstandings if they come up?

How to Avoid Misunderstanding

Here are 5 tips:

  • At the end of a conversation where decisions are being made or actions agreed, check you are both going away with the same understanding of what has been discussed. To avoid misunderstandings you might say: ‘Just so that I can check my communication, would you feed back to me what you understand that we’ve agreed?’ Or you could ask a summarising question that ensures there is mutual understanding such as, ‘So, am I right in thinking we’ve agreed…?’
  • When someone seems to have a problem check whether they are looking for you to suggest solutions.
  • When someone asks your advice, ask more questions about the problem before you give any solutions
  • If you misunderstand what someone has said, take responsibility for jumping to conclusions.
  • If they misunderstand what you’ve said, take responsibility for miscommunicating and find another way to express yourself so that they do understand.

What’s your next step to making your personal and working relationships work for you?

Special Offers and Dates for Your Diary

  1. Free Successful Relationships Coaching Discovery Session

Is having great working or personal relationships a must for you in 2015? Are challenges in your work and personal relationships holding you back in your career, your business or your personal life and frustrating you?

If your answer is yes check out these this 121 coaching opportunity.

I have 2 Free Coaching Discovery sessions left to give away in February.

During that 60 minute session, we’ll:

  • discuss where you are with your working and personal relationships and the challenges you face
  • uncover hidden barriers to your success.
  • get clear about how you’d like your relationships to be.

Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and confident about making 2015 your best year yet for personal and working relationships.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me and tell me what days/times would suit you: madeleine@growu.co.uk

  1. Accountability Club Business Growth Programme Launching Thursday 5th March

Are you frustrated by the slow growth of your business? Is your business experiencing growing pains? Would you like to make more money and have more fun growing your business? Then the Accountability Club Business Growth Programme could be just what your business needs…there are only 5 places left so hurry and grab the opportunity. Click here for more details

  1. The Successful Managers’ Toolkit Workshop 16 April 2015

It’s tough being a team leader, manager or supervisor. During this one-day Successful Managers’ Toolkit workshop, you’ll discover how to overcome the challenges and make your role much easier and rewarding to perform. www.successformanagers.co.uk or email madeleine@growu.co.uk for more details.

Quotes of the Week about Communication and Misunderstandings

  • “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
  • “How often, you wonder, has the direction of your life been shaped by such misunderstandings? How many opportunities have you been denied--or, for that matter, awarded--because someone failed to see you properly? Kevin Brockmeter
  • “As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.” Marcel Duchamp

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