A friend of ours tells the story of an argument they once had with a parent. Both parties got more and more frustrated, realizing that they were not on the same page—and things were only getting more tangled.
Things escalated until the parent threw their hands up helplessly and yelled, “Listen to what I mean, not what I say!”
Funny, huh? Yet it sounds so familiar to many of us.
We do our best here at 228 Main to express ourselves clearly. We want to make our expectations known, to expedite understanding, but we know that words have their limits. When I say “chair,” you may picture a dining chair while I was thinking of a throne! When you say “retirement”… well, see where I’m going with this?
It happens in the financial news, too. Pundits think they can get into the minds of investors, to read each decision as if it were the same as an inner monologue. If anyone could read minds, though, wouldn’t a lot of people be right a little more often?
Instead, we like to remember our limits. How many resentments, how much confusion could be eased if we turned to the important people in our lives and said, “Oops! Forgot… You can’t read my mind.”
We believe an important ground rule for our work is that we will not treat each other as if we’re all mind-readers.
Clients, fair enough? With this in mind, please reach out when you’ve got anything worth mentioning—and we’ll do our best to check our understanding, together.
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