This is a guest post from Carter Campbell. Carter is the founder and President of C2Roi Facilitated Solutions, a service dedicated to helping companies, institutions, organizations, and individuals reach their maximum potential. Carter and his wife, Roi are good friends and faithful members of Calvary Baptist Church, where I pastor.
Carter just released his first book, Leadership Tips: Common Sense Thoughts for Uncommon Times. The book is available on his website http://www.c2roi.com/. The site also provides information on Carter’s services. Be sure to sign up for his daily email!
Thanks so much to Carter for this post!
When I facilitate groups I’m always looking at body language, listening to tone of voice and considering individual motives.
Thanks to a great book by Dr. Kevin Glenn called Hand Over Fist: An Invitation To Christ Centered Civility, I now have a name for it, semiotics (if you need help with the pronunciation buy the book) Dr. Glenn writes,
“it’s a fancy way of talking about perceptions that helps us understand another person’s collateral experience…. Signs are made up of many different components words, sounds, body language and context.”
We can easily mistake another person’s body language, tone of voice or mannerisms
To illustrate how egocentric we can be attributing another’s behavior to our actions I offer you the following story.
My wonderful wife and life coach Roi and I have a routine that we use when we get up in the morning, at some point in this routine I’ll usually settle in for some quiet time before I start my work day. One morning as I was sitting there reading Roi got up, went into the bathroom and slammed the door. I immediately thought “what did I do wrong?” When Roi came out she seemed to be in an okay mood so I didn’t say anything about it. This went on for two more days, a door would slam, I’d be a coward and not say anything. Roi would clean up and we would go about our day. On the third day I couldn’t stand it anymore, I meekly knocked on the door and peeked in my head and asked “honey what’s wrong?” she looked at me with a puzzled look and said “what do you mean what’s wrong?” For the last three days in a row you have slammed the door to which she replied “of course I did, it sticks can you fix that today?”
The reward for my cowardice was three days wondering whether or not my wife was mad at me and what I should do about it instead of seeking to understand the situation first. A facilitator and mentor of mine once said if you assume your conclusions you’ll conclude your assumptions. Be very careful when you suppose you know where another person is coming from. You probably have better than a 50-50 chance of being wrong, and remember when you do ask the question.
Say what you mean
Mean what you say But
Don’t say it mean.