Recently I overheard a conversation about the types of employees the agency was seeking. They summed it up in saying that they (potential employees) must be able to “read between the lines”. I thought that those few words said quite a bit!
It is about knowing the ins and outs of the industry and having the discernment to know what clients are trying to express and be able to get them to open up and share what is on their minds or hearts.
This happens a lot in all sorts of situations. For example, “I don’t feel like cooking tonight” could really mean “can’t you go out and get some take-aways” or better still, “you could offer to take me out to dinner tonight!”
On the other hand, if someone says “I am feeling a bit down today”, they may be trying to tell you they are feeling really miserable and would love the opportunity to talk about it.
Language can be so oblique at times. Even when we think we “say it as it is”, there is still the chance of being misunderstood. We talk to each (and write) but we are inhibited in the words we use because we may have been frowned upon for words we used in the past. I know that I always hear my mother saying “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”, whenever I go to complain or be critical of a person or situation.
We also have the cultural differences within our own communities, let alone our own countries! It is amazing that we manage to communicate as well as we do! We have personality differences and different life circumstances.
I have often spoken the truth as I see it but I now recognise that I may have offended people. For example, if someone is unwell, I am likely to ask them what is wrong with them; is it serious; can I do anything to help etc. In some company that is considered rude as it is too personal. My questions stem from caring about the person’s welfare, not meaning to pry into their personal circumstances.
And so we have it! I hope you understood what I am talking about 🙂 Why can’t we just say what we mean and mean what we say?