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Miscommunication 101
August 15, 2011
by Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

Think about the last disagreement you had in your marriage. Did it have anything to do with unclear communication? Every relationship is subject to miscommunication.

In preparation for going on vacation to our cabin, I made a phone call to a well-drilling company. Our cabin is nearly completed, but we have no well yet.

I asked this company to come out and give me an estimate, so I gave them my address. As the lady was asking directions and I told her it was at Jacobsen, she said she used to live there and was familiar with the area. I told her to go east one-fourth mile on 200 and then take the first gravel road south through the gravel pit to the first gravel road going east. She was tracking well with my directions and then said the road would go by Vanduse Lake.

I said she was correct and was impressed that she knew the area, until she said, “That is where the rock starts.” I replied, “No, it is still all forest in that area.” Then she answered, “Underground, that is where the rock starts.” When they had drilled other wells in the area they had experienced this.

Talk about a potential for miscommunication when one’s business is underground strata and my experience is “above-ground” observation.

How often do we misunderstand God’s Word which He writes from a heavenly perspective and we see all things from an earthly perspective?

How often does the husband ask his wife to do something which he describes from his male perspective and the wife filters it through her female mind? That can lead to conflict.

Just as in drama you have to “over-act” to get your expressions across to the audience, so we need to “over communicate” to cut down on conflict. It is humbling to speak simply and even ask one to repeat back to you what they hear you say, but it would help your communication.

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification in your communication, and enjoy fewer misunderstandings in your relationships.