Saturday, September 5, 2020

Patience and Persistence

There is an old one-liner that says, in essence, "There are no guarantees in life except death and taxes." It is always greeted with either a chuckle or a nod or both. People recognize the harsh reality of that statement even though it is not literally true as some folks do not always pay their taxes. (They are called either criminals, lucky, or people with great attorneys on their payroll......By the way, if that last statement triggers a chuckle or nod, then you have my permission to use it and take full credit for it.) The general point is that in our time on earth there is nothning we can assume will always happen for all time. I wish to add to that brief list of exceptions: communication breakdowns or misunderstandings. No matter how well we think we communicate a message to another, there is always a good chance of one of several unintended results: the person on the receiving end of our outreach will misinterpret what we just said; we won't have stated what we stated as clearly as we thought; or the response to our message will not be what we expected. Given that, the reality of any intteraction is that rarely are we as in-sync with another as much as we might believe. The mind of the receiver of our communicating is almost always on something other than what we are saying - even if it just a little. This truism speaks to why communicating effectively is such an ongoing and neverending challenge. Communication breakdowns can and do happen at any time, even in the middle of a conversation that, up to that point, have been going well. Suddenly one of the participants starts focusing on another topic or injects their own meaning on what the speaking is saying and - presto - misunderstanding or misinterpretation is knocking on the door. Without question, communication is not for the faint-hearted. It is act that requires great patience and persistence.

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