Miscommunication: Hearing What We Want to Hear

Well it happened again.  I’m sitting in one sandwich shop and my college-age daughter is sitting in another one across town.  How did that happen?  We hear what we want to hear – it’s that simple. 

Assuming We Know

Our lunch disconnect was a classic example of the most common kind of miscommunication.  Two people thinking they understand the other one but actually only hearing what they want to hear – and then making an assumption that makes perfect sense to them. 

For example, I made the assumption that  “Of course, we’re going to meet here.  It’s closest to my work”.  But the daughter assumes “Of course, we’re going to meet here.  It’s closest to my errands”.  It happens so easily and we all do it.  And then there can be a chorus of “But you said.  No, I didn’t.  Yes, you did”. 

It’s only lunch today but in a work setting these kinds of miscommunication can have a more serious ripple effect.  As adults we can be quite stubborn and easily convinced that we are right – we understood perfectly well but it’s the other person that mixed it up once again.

Check and Double Check

So here’s what to do minimize these kinds of missed connections . . . pause for just a second and confirm (even with your teenager) that you both are really talking about the same thing.  Check and double check that you are both going to the same place, at the same time for the same purpose.  Sounds too simple?  It is simple but it will save you lots of time and aggravation.  You’ll also not miss out on lunch with your gorgeous daughter.  And those times will fly by . . . and back to college on the east coast she will go.

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