There was a young man driving his car home on the expressway one evening, when he heard a loud bang and felt his left rear tire blow out. He pulled the car over on the shoulder of the expressway. Once he got out of the car, he could see he had a flat tire. What made things even worse is that he had forgotten his cell phone at home, so he had no way to contact a towing company.
He went into the trunk of his vehicle and pulled out the spare tire and a jack. It was getting close to evening and the sun was setting. He noticed cars were whizzing by just a few feet away from the tire he was about to change. So, he decided to put on his headlights to make his vehicle as visible as possible.
As luck would have it, the tire that he was attempting to change, had not been rotated for at least a couple of years, and the lug nuts were rusted onto the wheel bolts. It took him a long time to finally change the tire, and when he got back in the car and tried to start it, you guessed it; he had a dead battery.
He got out of the car and started waving a white flag, and before he knew it, a little old lady pulled up behind his car. He went over and explained his situation and asked if she might have a pair of jumper cables. She did not, but, then the young man thought of an idea. Since he had stick transmission, he knew if he could get his car up to 25 miles per hour, he could pop the clutch and could start the car manually. All he needed to do was to convince the woman to give him a push with her car.
He explained, since the back bumper of his car was about the same height as the old woman’s front bumper, all she had to do was push his car with hers to “get him up to 25 miles per hour” and he could start his car. She looked a little confused, so he explained it to her again. Finally, she seemed to understand, and with that the young man got back into his car and put it into neutral and waited for the old woman to give him “a push.”
He waited and he waited and he waited until finally he looked in his rear view mirror and to his surprise, the old woman was coming right at him, at “25 miles per hour!”
This story is a good illustration of what can happen when we don’t take the time to clearly communicate our ideas to other people.
How about you? Where in your life have you tried communicating to someone, and that person totally misunderstood? How would you have restated what you said then to prevent it from happening with others in the future?