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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Assumed He Understood

Today was our counties' annual 4-H demonstration contest.  Two of my boys entered the contest - Jacob made Crockpot Candy (recipe on our family blog, click here) and Zachary made a mousetrap catapult. Others from our local 4-H club also entered the contest, along with many others from the county. 

Because we've been so busy with other activities, last night was the first time my own boys had actually gone through their demonstrations.  Instead of pouring out the ingredients for the recipe while practicing last night, I just had Jacob play like he was doing it.  However, the plan (according to me) was that he would pour out the ingredients during the actual contest.

Well, today, Jacob was giving his demonstration.  As he began telling the audience how to make the candy, instead of actually pouring the ingredients into the crock pot like was planned (or at least I thought it was planned!), he just pretending to be doing it!  I couldn't believe it!  He had no idea that he was supposed to actually use the ingredients during this real contest time!

Jacob was surprised when I explained to him what he was suppose to have done.  I just assumed that he realized that he would actually pour the ingredients, but he didn't. I guess I should have been clearer and explained to him exactly what he would be doing.  I actually had no idea he didn't understand.  Kind of funny!  I got the whole thing on video so I can show him for himself some day. :)

Communication breakdowns sometimes happen and many times it's not anything super-important, but sometimes it is very important.  Relationships can be severly damaged by broken down communication.  I've heard the saying about how God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we could listen twice as much as we talk.  That's pretty good advice! Assuming that someone understands something is most likely going to result in problems of some kind.   Effective communication is communication that involves both talking and listening - not just one or the other. 

I can think of a few top ways in which we can communicate more effectively with others:

1.  When listening to someone, really listen. 
2.  Make eye contact. Look directly at the person speaking.
3.  Try not to be thinking about what you want to say next - instead fully listen to the person who is talking. 
4.  When someone explains something to you, it's wise to repeat back to them what you are hearing...that was you're sure to know you are both thinking the same.
5. Never assume someone knows what you're talking about.  Make sure to explain what you mean fully.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
James 1:19

What are some ideas you have about communication?

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

oh, dear! Poor Jacob! Kinda funny, tho!

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