“I don’t understand why they didn’t do what they were told. I have told them at least five times what was expected. Are they so dense that they don’t get it or do they just not care? I don’t know how much more communication I need to provide.”
Why is it necessary to share the reasoning and intent to be transparent? If this is not done, the people with whom you are working or interacting may have the information, but lack the understanding as to how or why you said or acted in a certain way. By sharing why you said something or acted in a certain way, you are making it easier for the others to understand your intent or purpose. If you do not share the intent, you may be leaving it up to others to decide why you acted in the manner or said what you said. If you do not share your reasoning, the process for how you arrived at your statement or action, you are leaving the others to determine their own conclusions.
Of course we all know that “true professionals” are always very rational and logical. Or are they? And should they always be so rational? Perhaps it is more logical and rational to identify and acknowledge the emotions involved in stressful times of change and transition.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. I ran across this statement some 40 years ago when I was doing youth and family counseling. I find it just as relevant today as it was back then.
I am aware of my growing concern over my intolerance for taking time to really explore meaning and, most importantly, understanding.
When I am faced with a change, whether it is one I have chosen or one that has been “forced” on me, I find my immediate response is to think about all that I have to give up. I am pretty content to maintain the way I have been functioning. I have to consciously think about what I’m doing. I have to work at making the new behavior a part of my day. At the same time I am grieving the loss of my old behavior. It is like losing a part of me.
In reality, the definition of the word has less to do with the meaning understood than the perceived meaning interpreted. In other words, words don’t have meaning. People bring their meaning to the words.
Things begin to fall through the cracks, causing hurt feelings or uncertainty about what to do. People start doing things their own way without saying much to the other group. The other group begins to question what that individual is doing and if that person is representing the whole group or not. Criticism happens and people start questioning each other’s motives. Suddenly the trust between the groups, which was really trust of the central individual, starts slipping and anger and frustration appear to replace the cooperative working relationship that once existed. Now conflict is center stage and people are really convinced the world has gone bad very quickly.
In this meaning of communication it is critical that the parties involved must be engaged in some form of give and take until there is an understanding that what the sender of the message has intended has actually been understood by the receiver and the receiver has then provided the necessary feedback to the sender to demonstrate this understanding.