An Amusing Example of Communication Failure…

Most of my programs come with a participant follow-up email series that underscores some of the points of a training. Hundreds of these emails go out in any given week, and people read them (or not), then discard. Most of the time.

Sometimes, though, they respond. And some of those responses are quite amusing. One I received recently, and, well, I had to share.

A nurse from a medical clinic, a “C,” (see this post to know what a “C” is) wrote:

Alan,

See below.  I’m putting the program to use.

Scott P.*

Scott had received the following email from Jerod*, the clinic’s wellness coordinator:

Hello! Who are you People! You haven’t signed up for the office Olympics yet?! It will be fun! You don’t have to participate every day, you will get a free lunch, and it will be loads of fun! REMINDER: A lot of the events do not require you to be physically fit. (looking at you here SCOTT!) Email Jane*, or myself, and we will get you signed up! If you have any questions let me know!

Scott’s immediate reaction was “to retreat from her enthusiasm and respond with an email that could have strained our working relationship.” But Scott looked back at his resources, and, coincidentally, had received an email from my series that was based on this post: DiSC in Action: Email Manners and Mirroring.

Scott wrote further:

These two things stuck out when I first read [the email]:
“Hello! Who are you People!” and “A lot of the events do not require you to be physically fit. (looking at you here SCOTT!)”

Now think of those comments in connection with these points from the DiSC interaction guide you gave us for working with the ‘C’ style.

  • Avoid pressuring them for an immediate decision
  • Avoid using forceful or emotional tactics

I looked at the suggestions for working with an ‘i’ style (Jerod is an ‘i’ – learn more here) and focused on the following when I talked to him:

  • Recognize the value of their enthusiasm
  • Avoid personal attacks that could escalate the situation

After Jerod and I talked, we went our separate ways, laughing.  Then I went over to Jane and signed up.  This is counter to my initial gut reaction to retreat from her enthusiasm and respond with an email that could have strained our working relationship.

Good stuff!

Thank you,

Scott

This is fun, and funny, sure. But what if everyone who went through any kind of workplace training took it as seriously as Scott?

Alan Feirer Group DynamicThanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

 

 

 

*Names were changed to respect confidentiality

 

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