Saturday, February 27, 2010

Communication Blunder

Most of the times we assume that people understand us. When we communicate we feel that next person is receiving our thought.

There are two stories I would like to share with you. These are small stories with big impact. Though I am expecting that “so called” corporate professionals read my blog, this blog is not for who are not open to new thought. We should be open for some learning from small things.

Atharva, my son represents the next level generation. He is in 1st standard. He knows everything from gaming to internet. He is fond of reading cartoon books, comics and children magazines. He also likes to enjoy in any amusement park.

Once we decided to go at amusement park near Pune. Atharva was so excited to tell this to everyone, his friends in school and colony including his teachers, “We are going to amusement park on this Saturday.”

It was a weekend. People in Pune were not sacred about swine flue and bomb blast; hence there was big crowd at amusement park. Atharva was excited to reach there and asking us questions. He was just speaking till we enter the amusement park. We parked the vehicle and enter into the park. He was walking holding my hand. As he saw the crowd, he became quiet. I surprised. The kid who was so excited to go in the park was very cool and quiet. I saw him and bent down to speak with him. As I bent down, I saw only legs of the crowd. He confused and pointed towards the legs of crowd.

I understood his problem. It was my mistake to ask him to walk. I got him on my shoulder. Next to that it was fun for him.

Learning for me is: We have to either bend down or go to the level of recipient. We just assume that the next person is getting everything what we are communicating. Going at his level and understanding him are keys in effective communication.

I started my career as management trainee in Indian Steel in 1997 at Nashik. I was located at plant reporting to HR head of the factory. Our Managing Director used to visit plant sometimes. When MD used to come, it was my responsibility to assist him for documentation. Once he gave me a call through intercom and asked in Marathi, “Vinod, Ashokstambh varun shimpi la bolavun ghe. – (Please call Shimpi, from Ashokstambh)” We had the office of our sister concern at Ashokstambh. I recollected that there was one person whose surname is Shimpi in the office at Ashokstambh and MD must be calling him only. I called at that office and asked for “Shimpi”. I came to understand that Shimpi, had left the organization six months back.

I reported back. “Sir, Shimpi has left the organization.”

“What? Left the office? His shop is near our office only. I have to give the measurement for my suit. He is our regular tailor. In Marathi “Shimpi.” He laughed.

Believe me. This is true story.

Learning for me: You can not assume in communication. MD spoke with me in Marathi, however in Marathi also we normally use the term TAILOR and not SHIMPI. One person name Shimpi was already working with the company, hence instructions should have been very clear. Even I also did not ask him clearly to whom he would like to call. If we do not understand, we should ask the questions frequently.


sanjayrakecha said...

Very gud Vinodji

If you are not understand the thing you must ask question & clear it. This is right way.

Ravindra Mane said...

Excellent sir. No other words. Keep writing such good stories

Ajay Chaudhari said...

Excellent examples Vinod.

As they say, "Assumption is the mother of all chaos".

We must clarify and take a feedback from the recipient. In the second case, the MD did not take a feedback and assumed that the recipient had understood. The recipient, on the other hand, did not clarify even when in doubt. Ideal settings for misunderstandings.

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