Perception

I rather much enjoyed the early May bank holiday this year and I am glad to be back at the office on a cold and rainy Tuesday morning. Happy times ahead people. 


April was indeed a fantastic month for me and I was able to tick a lot of items of my list. Don’t you just enjoy putting a big fat tick on an item on your to-do list that seemed a tad impossible? Love it, love it, love it! Oh well, that is not the topic for today.

 

Over the weekend, I was in a rather long queue waiting to pay for my cake at John Lewis when I overheard a couple arguing about a practical joke the man played on the lady. 


He had found her reaction hilarious and was surprised that she did not see the humour in whatever the joke was. She responded by saying it really was not funny to her, she felt insulted, was annoyed with him and she demanded an apology. The man replied that she should loosen up a little and accused her of not having a sense of humour. 

 

They bantered back and forth until he conceded and apologised. His words were “I am sorry that you did not see the funny side” to which she retorted that it was a half baked apology (she used more colourful words) and he should apologise properly for the joke and not her perception of the joke. I reckon by then, he realised they had an audience so he quickly apologised for the joke altogether.

 

By now, you already know I have a warped sense of humour and I found this exchange very hilarious. It took every bone in me to keep a straight face but I agreed  silently with the lady’s retort. 


She was right in saying that it is no apology when one apologises for the way another person received their information. 


As leaders, it is necessary to weigh our utterances and even anticipate the various ways our message can be received before we utter them. A higher standard should be applied to written communication – don’t be too quick to hit the send button.

 

I can give countless examples of politicians, CEOs and managers resigning based on words they communicated that could have been better crafted to receive acceptance by the majority of people listening. 


Can you think of ways you have sent out communication that conveyed a meaning other than what you intended? 


Some people manipulate your words but the onus is on you as a leader to be so crystal clear that no other meaning can be derived from what you have said or written.

 

There is the pressure to respond immediately to certain situations but would you rather respond late and once than respond immediately and send out retractions?

 

In other news, I have been eyeing a water bottle where you can infuse fruits or vegetables to give your water a different taste. My friend knew about this and randomly bought it for me on Saturday ‘just because’. Don’t you enjoy receiving ‘just because’ gifts? I am one happy woman.


Have a lovely day people. 


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2 thoughts on “Perception

  1. In this heyday of offend(o|a)trons I doubt that it is at all possible for a leader to escape giving offence or having their words twisted and misconstrued. Hence the need for an army of spin doctors 🙂

    Ol’ matey was cowed into apologising because of the audience and he will resent that I think. Do you think an apology given under duress is worth anything?

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    1. You have a point though, it is almost impossible for the simple utterance to stay immune from misconstruction. Personally, I think an apology given under duress is no apology…it is simply an escape.

      Like

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