September 11, 2019 - Issue 19-37

Good Afternoon  ,

This week, I've been reminded in a couple of conversations how easy it is to misinterpret something.

A physical observation,
Something somebody said, or
Especially, something somebody wrote.

In the statement in the subject line of this message, I purposely offered no punctuation in the predicate. So is it a description of the panda's:
Dietary preferences,
Behavior in a tavern, 
Table manners, or
Something else?

Here's a link to a picture in which some see a very old woman's face and some see the silhouette of a young pretty woman's face. Check it out! Which do you see? See if you can find the other.

These are examples of easily misinterpreted statements and images. How about what someone said to you? Something somebody wrote in an email?

It's very easy to receive something completely differently than was intended by the sender. Have you reacted in anger, or with humor, to something only to learn that your interpretation was totally inappropriate?

These mistakes can cause arguments, breakdowns in relationships, inappropriate decisions, and many other miscommunications. Much of which can be prevented by a little restraint and inquiry.

As the sender of a message, take care to consider how it might be misconstrued. Make your intent clearer, if possible. Be very careful with punctuation.

As the receiver of a message, consider different meanings than your first reaction.

As a viewer of a picture, a physical object in poor light, or especially a pattern of lights at night, look carefully. If possible, get a view from another angle. Get more light on the subject. 

In every case, recognize that what you see is often not what you get! Leaving yourself open to different interpretations, whenever possible, can avoid embarrassing misunderstandings or worse.
John Stevens

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About John

Throughout a career spanning over 45 years my management style has been one of building teams to bring several competent people together to focus on a common objective. I noted early in my career that, in most organizations, there is an enormous amount of time, energy, and effort wasted by people working at cross purposes.

As I transition to life in the Argentine outback, my focus shifts from coaching to helping other business coaches and advisers get their message out to their prospective clients. With my first-hand knowledge of the benefits of effective business coaching, I am uniquely qualified to help business advisers of all stripes convey their message.

Contact Info
John B. Stevens, Freelance Copywriter

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