George Bernard Shaw non-chalantly quoted some time ago, that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
I recently experienced a full on communication breakdown with my laptop taking a “break” from being usable. This little shake up made me much more sensitive to communication processes, since I had to change up the way I worked and communicated with people in a big way…
That, and a friend of mine quoted GBS when I was teaching him how to use his zapper and he still didn’t get it. Why? I had assumed he had some idea of how to use it….but he didn’t know at all. This would certainly change my instruction.
Assumption can KILL a seemingly well thought out articulation.
Am I truly, CLEARLY communicating what I think I’m saying? Can I find the “illusions” and efficiently fill in the gaps where information is missing?
Yesterday, a group of friends got together to attend a discussion/performance/book signing for our friend Justin Bua’s latest book The Legends of Hip Hop.
Part of our posse arrived early to save some primo seats. In my communique’s with the outside parties yet to arrive, I mentioned that we were in the 5th row on the right side. The others showed up, but didn’t take their seats. Later it was revealed that when they saw the jackets on the empty seats in the 5th row they assumed they were taken.
The information missing from my texts was: we’ve saved seats for you -they’ll have jackets on them. Again with the assumption. Geez.
It’s amazing how such a seemingly small detail could totally alter an evening. Instead of having our the rest of our posse right next to us, they were somewhere in the back. Sure everyone had a great time….but they evening was altered.
Another miscommunique. Again, I thought I had said what I needed to…but alas, critical details were omitted. And frankly, both times the details were very simple. I guess when I assume I really do make an ASS out of U & ME. Oh god. I actually just wrote that down and didn’t delete it.
It makes we wonder what other things aren’t being properly communicated – simple things that could make all the difference.
Breakin’ it down: simple & straight forward, no assuming. It’s the best way to let people know what the fuck is going on.
pictured above: Darrel (RUN DMC) and Justin Bua rap about hip hop at the LACMA