Do As I Mean Not As I Say

stk77242corMarriage is all about communication. Sometimes that can go awry. The other day my husband and I had a miscommunication about something as silly as an email. Yes…an email.

The Set-up

My husband is a comedian and needed help with a promotion for an upcoming show. As his partner in crime, he recruited me and I willingly accepted the job.

The Mix-up

I asked him to send me the message as soon as he was finished with it. While he assumed I was offering to help edit, I thought I explicitly offered to send it around as soon as possible. I have a lot on my plate and not a lot of time to waste.

The Delivery

Once I received his email, I went ahead and sent it to my mass list. What followed was an irate call from my husband saying “Did you just send that email? It wasn’t ready!” We had a clear miscommunication.

Who’s to blame? Who cares? It truly doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is what we can do differently going forward.

The best way to avoid misunderstandings and assumptions in marriage and in business is to: Confirm and Clarify.

Think of confirming as a playback for the other person. The playback lets them know you get it, that you’ve heard them. It also gives the listener an opportunity to clarify the message if you got it wrong. Make sure when you do confirm, you use a neutral tone to avoid sounding judgmental, whether in email, face to face or over the phone. Try using language like “Let me see if I understand you…” or “Let’s make sure we are on the same page…”

Validating what you heard is helpful in both business and when trying to keep the peace at home.  Just don’t get me started on how he loads the dishwasher.

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