Monday, July 8, 2013

"Rest Well"

So the Shakespeare Tavern has just completed a "trilogy" of Hamlet that has been intense...and fun. While it has nothing to do with the post, I can't help but gush since the director, text, and actors finally had me understanding why Hamlet is supposed to be the best thing Shakespeare wrote. Anyway, the trilogy consisted of Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and one I'd never heard of, Fortinbras.

Fortinbras turned out to be a delightful surprise, full of wit and word play. Pretty sure the Bard would approve.

One bit that is still being repeated around the Battles household:
"Thanks for those warnings about my imminent death."
"We gave you hints!"
"Rest well? Rest well?! It was BED TIME!"

It was snort soda through your nose funny.
But it's also a great example of ineffective communication.

The deal with communication is-contrary to what some people seem to believe-it' s more than just you talking and someone listening. Communication means you are clearly expressing ideas and your audience clearly understands what you mean.

A number of years ago, Trey and I were driving back from his baseball game. He'd been having trouble with school and I'd come up with this great little sports analogy (using the game they'd just played) to help him understand the importance of "staying in the game." I was quite pleased with myself, thinking how clever I was to use language he'd understand to communicate the importance of school work. I was in the midst of an imaginary conversation with his teacher congratulating me on my awesome parenting skills and Trey's straight A report card when Embree walked into the kitchen. Her facial expression clearly communicated two things:

Something was wrong.
It was my fault.

"What's wrong?" I asked.
To which she replied, "Why did you tell Trey it's his fault they lost the game?"

My visions of Mom of the Year Awards were replaced with visions of astronomical therapy bills. Luckily, Bree was there to mediate for me. I cleared the air with Trey. And learned a valuable lesson about using analogies during lectures.

It's important to know your audience. To know what you want to say and think through the best way to say it. Also, watch your tone. For Bree, how you say something is more important than what you say and I daresay she isn't the only one. Also, don't assume your audience will ask questions to clarify your meaning. They may be just as sure they understand you as you are you communicated what you wanted to. Be sure and clarify important points and ask questions if possible.

It could mean the difference between "sweet dreams" and "watch out for that sword"

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