Today I want to talk about a topic that has been bothering me for some time. Personally I think it’s one of the biggest causes of failures, frustrated employees, dissatisfied relationships and general miserableness. What is it? It’s not taking the time to get the whole picture. Let me give you a few examples:
Your partner asks you to go to the store for milk. You go and get the milk the house typically drinks, and when you return they ask why you didn’t get bread as well or why you got that kind instead of the other kind.
Your boss asks you to write up a proposal for a project. You do so based on the others you’ve done in the past. You pass it to your boss expecting to be able to get back to your work and they ask you to do it again because they wanted it with different targets or goals.
Paperwork on your family car (insurance or government) comes up to be renewed. Your partner is working so they ask you to do it. You get there to do it only to be told that the only person who can renew it is the person whose name is on it, which isn’t indicated anywhere on the paperwork.
You get the idea? In each case there was more to the story than was first known. Why the full story couldn’t be told in the first place completely boggles my mind. Is it a test that you want someone to pass or fail by not telling them the whole thing? Do you expect someone to read your mind and know what you really meant? Or is it just a case of you not really thinking things through and failing to communicate properly?
I do understand that sometimes we just forget to tell the whole story or sometimes we don’t say too much because we don’t want to micro manage or overwhelm with details. But there’s a really big space between providing necessary details and micromanaging or over communicating.
This week I challenge you to take notice of how you interact with other people. Are you a half-done picture person, or do you communicate the whole picture to them?