TriangleOptical illusions illustrate the difference between reality and illusions - what the brain thinks it's seeing. Optical illusions may also create an illusion only - because they are actually impossible.

This triangle is a good illustration - what your eye and brain are seeing is impossible in reality. This triangle is a part of our logo - because I believe it shows how, as ADDers, we often get the wrong end of the stick. (ADDers are people who have ADHD)

It was just such a misunderstanding that was at the root of a serious argy-bargy last evening between Pat and I. Neither of us understood clearly what the other was saying. We were talking about the same subject, but the the themes were light years apart.

Here's how to avoid this happening, and when it does  (because misunderstandings are unavoidable) I have listed a few ways to get back on track.

Eric Burdon and the Animals were one of many bands and singers to belt out that classic song, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

"But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"

Good intentions are excellent, but only if they are understood. One of the classic sayings of all time is, "but I thought you..."

The first thing to do when discussing anything of importance is to make sure you are both talking and thinking about the same things.

In the illustration on the right, are we talking about a young woman or an old woman? They are both female, and that's probably all they have in common. Everything else about them are light years apart. oldyoungWoman

Last night Pat and I were discussing our website - our business - but she was not talking about what I thought she was talking about, and vice-versa.

 The very first thing one should do when STARTING the discussion is to make sure that everybody understands and knows what is going to follow, both the subject and the themes. Sometimes it helps to stipulate what we are not talking about as well.

If you find out or realise that not everyone is talking about the same thing - the clues are fidgeting, some puzzled expressions, even some rolling eyes - then you do the same as you did/should have done in the beginning.

One of the things our business course facilitators do, is have what they call procedures. These are simply ways, or mechanisms to deal with ANY issues that may crop up in the discussion. They stop what they are doing, and clarify what is being discussed. Listening to the other person is a really powerful procedure!

 Here are some guidelines we are adopting that may help you:

  • It really helps to write the agenda down, and then discuss it. Not everybody will interpret the agenda points in the same way.
  • It is up to everybody to make sure the discussion stays on track. There's no need to be rude about this, a simple, "we will get to that later," works well.
  • It's not rude to ask the question, "are we all in agreement about what we are discussing?"
  • Set goals or outcomes for each discussion AND write it down. Before saying something, ask your self if it will aid in getting to the desired outcome or result. For instance Pat and I have scheduled a long session for tommorow morning in which we are going through every item on the website to determine whether it still has relevance. We will have agreed the criteria to make those judgements.
  • Have procedures for dealing with disagreements.

 Yesterday was a huge learning curve for us. We are getting back on track, and making progress. 

 Our goals are all the richer for what we learnt, it will be so much better to avoid the pain in the future.

Credits for lyrics:
Writer(s): Sol Marcus, Bennie Benjamin, Ray Charles, Gloria Caldwell

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