For our last installment of “Communication Tips”, we are going back in time. Picture this: Second grade. Mrs. Sigmon’s class. “Pair up and get ready for your assignment”, she said, as she handed out the printed versions of the test, below, to the group.
I’ll pause for a few moments to let you complete the assignment as seen below…
All done? How did you do? I have to admit that I got it wrong, as did the majority of my class. In fact, only one team managed to properly complete the assignment. While most of the class poked holes in the top of their papers, drew triangles, did the math, etc. we didn’t notice the two quiet girls right in the middle of the classroom, who whispered quietly to each other throughout the assignment, only signing their names to the page as instructed.
Show of hands – how many of you got a perfect score?
This exercise is one of the details. But more than that, it is an exercise in avoiding assumptions as we communicate. Consider taking an extra moment or two to fully digest what is being communicated before constructing your response.
PS: For what it’s worth, both of those girls who got it right became immensely successful.