You Don’t Get It

When you are talking with someone and you use the phrase, “You don’t get it,” what you are actually saying is that you have run out of patience trying to communicate your thoughts to the other person.

I get it, it can be difficult to express ideas sometimes and trying to reach a consensus of ideas can be difficult.

However, that doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands and insult the other person because they, “don’t get it.”

You have to be open to the possibility that actually YOU might not get it. You can also be wrong or have a misunderstanding of the current discussion. Being willing to be wrong is being open to the ideas and thoughts of others without pride standing in the way.

It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s not okay to take out your frustrations on others. This applies to your customers, your colleagues, your friends, and your family. This applies to everyone.

Quality communication is a deliberate process.

You get it?

Lord Ullin’s Daughter (1907), Albert Pinkham Ryder

What If I’m Wrong? (or How Being Wrong is Under-Rated)

An ongoing challenge I have in the classroom is encouraging my students to participate. Some classes are better than others. I usually have an opening ice-breaker conversation that talks about things outside the subject matter: movies you saw this past week, places you went, news you heard, on-the-job information, etc.

This activity helps to get the conversation going, but is not a panacea.

What I’ve come to discover is that students have a fear of saying something wrong or being wrong, especially during the lecture when we are covering course content. This fear of being wrong has been with them since they were small kids and it’s still present even now.

And guess what? Many adults are in the same boat.

I’ve been to many meetings and workshops over my career and the speaker will be requesting some feedback, and no one says anything. I have that same fear as well, but have gotten better over the years and often tell myself to “not speak” so that others can have the opportunity to step up and offer their insights.

In science, being wrong is the path to discovery. We know what doesn’t work so we can focus on what might work.

In business, people fail all the time. But, those failures teach us better ways to move forward in the future. Behind every great success story, there’s a trail of failures along the way.

People should be willing to make calculated, low-risk decisions; to be willing to fail and learn from that failure. It’s one way we can sharpen our skills and knowledge base. Making a comment in class, or asking a question is certainly low-risk.

Experience is a heck of a teacher. I love the quote, “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

Be willing to boldly pursue your dreams. If you fall short of the moon, you’ll still be among the stars.

And you what, there’s nothing wrong with that.

New Moon and Evening Star (1923), George Elbert Burr

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