This post was written by Brett Slater, Chief Social Media Officer at The Latimer Group.
Dean shared this video with me over the weekend… Have you seen it yet? At 16 million views, it’s likely that you’ve run across it in your social feed before. If not, the short version is that a woman tries to communicate with her significant other about her headache, which he quickly identifies as (literally) a nail in her forehead, with a seemingly obvious solution: Let’s get rid of that nail. She insists that that is absolutely NOT the problem, and if he would just listen to her, that would be clear to him. She explains, clarifies. Eventually, he does see the light, and gives her not the solution he found so (literally) painfully obvious, but the solution she asked for.
Good for a laugh, absolutely. But good for a quick workplace communication tip, also. (We always seem to be able to find those, don’t we?)
Simply put, a problem which may seem apparent to you may not be so obvious. When communicating with colleagues, or especially clients and customers, do your best to be clear, and do your best to make sure you’re clear about what you’re being told. Ask a lot of questions. Drill down. Get specific. Repeat back what you believe the Problem to be, and get consensus. THEN offer a solution.
Listen carefully, and verify. It may not be about what you think it’s about, even if you’re sure.
(Footnote to Kevin M, who shared this video with Dean, along with a good laugh.)