A few years ago, I rushed home after work to pick up my son for a chiropractic appointment. “Jeffrey, get in the car!” I bellowed. Since I am not one to waste time, on my way out the door I grabbed the baseball equipment in the foyer and stashed it in the garage where it belonged.
We were on time for our appointment, but the chiropractor was not. As we languished in the waiting room, I received a text from my husband, Bill, that said, “You must have left in a hurry, the TV was on, there are dishes on the counter, and there’s a bat on the table.”
Slightly insulted, but deciding to take the high road, I responded,“Thanks for cleaning up and starting dinner.”
He replied, “Do you want fish or hamburger? And, what do you think I should do with the bat?”
What was his preoccupation with that darn baseball bat? I typed back, taking a deep breath and remembering all his many amazing qualities, “Put the bat in the garage with the cleats.”
To which he responded, “But I’m concerned about rabies.”
Wait. What? All this time he was talking about a flying rodent in our kitchen? I’m concerned about rabies too!
He referenced the bat several times, but I was so wrapped up in my own concerns — being tired, hungry, and frustrated — that I failed to truly understand what he had said.
Miscommunication happens all the time in business, and in life. And it’s often the result of not looking outside of ourselves and truly appreciating the efforts and words of those around us. I bet you have had a miscommunication today, and certainly this week. Pretend that I am Ellen Degeneres and send them to me. I can’t wait to read them!