Communication is the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.
How many times have you been in the midst of a conversation and are confident that the information you are disseminating is fully understood? You are clearly expressing yourself, verbally or nonverbally, yet the receiver appears confused and is unable to understand the simple message you’re attempting to convey.
Allow me to share…Last weekend my two boys attended a Teen Youth Retreat, in Northern California, near Yosemite. The retreat coordinator, who was driving the van being used to transport the youth, was departing from a nearby city. So my kids packed the truck and we headed out to meet up with the group at the drop off spot. We arrived, said our goodbyes, and they were on their way!
They returned on a Sunday evening and the plans were to pick them up at the same place I had dropped them off. Thanks to current technology, via cell phone and text messaging, it became apparent that the group was running behind schedule and the van would be arriving approximately 1.5 hours late; No problem. It actually afforded me one more hour of special alone time, with my husband, minus the kids!
One and one half hours later I arrived at the agreed upon location and the van was nowhere in sight. As time passed, I thought of that van load of children needing to get home. and how kind it was of the driver and his wife, of whom are good friends, to make a special stop to drop off my boys, giving me the courtesy of not having to travel so far to pick them up. I knew they were exhausted from the weekend and the long, taxing drive and was appreciative of their kindness.
I thought to myself, when the van arrives I need to be ready to grab my kids and their luggage, as quickly as possible, so the others can get back on the road, get home and get some well needed rest! So in anticipation of their arrival, and to help expedite the transfer, I opened and lifted the trunk on the car I was driving. In the distance I could see the van approaching from the main thoroughfare. I then stepped out of my vehicle, stood in the parking lot, and left the car door open so we could quickly transfer backpacks, sleeping bags and luggage, so the remaining passengers, on the van, could continue their journey without us slowing them down.
When the van arrived I walked over to the front seat of the passenger door. The driver’s wife, said hello and we embraced. She then said something that caused me to chuckle. She said, “In the van we were saying uh oh! Look at Japhena; she’s got to be thinking they are so late! Look, she even has the car door open, the trunk is lifted up and she is standing outside of the car in the parking lot with her arms crossed. She is mad and ready to go!
I had to laugh! They felt bad because they were running late and thought I was annoyed. I felt bad because they had to make and extra stop on behalf of my children. I explained that it was my intent to make the transfer as quick and easy as possible, so they could get home. And let’s not forget I was standing in a parking lot at 9:30PM in a skirt, sweater and sandals. It was chilly, so I crossed my arms to keep warm.
This encounter brought to mind a quote by the late William James, an American Philosopher and Psychologist. “The most immutable barrier in nature is between one man’s thoughts and another’s.”
I wonder how much, so called, communication is actually misinterpretation.
Until next time,
Japhena- Kay Musson is a Los Angeles based Voice over Artist, Freelance Writer, Coach & Speaker. She holds a degree in Communications with an expertise in Entertainment and Broadcast Media. As a columnist she sheds an honest light on life as she sees it, and encourages others to identify their true path on this journey called life. She prides herself on being happily married more than 18 years and the mother of two wonderful children. Connect with Japhena at www.Japhena.com, email Japhena@Japhena.com and on twitter @JaphenaSays.