March's FREE DIAL IN WEBINAR: Choosing Words Wisely! - REGISTER HERE

A Tale of Two Texts

twins

I’ve been a bit scattered this summer. While disciplined at keeping and working with a detailed to-do list, a few things have slipped away from me. If I had to choose the one that made me the most uncomfortable, I think it’s this … I missed/forgot/neglected my twin grandnieces first birthday on July 3rd. Yikes!

When I realized what I had done, I struggled to decide what to do next. I quickly settled on a gift that’s a family favourite and that could be delivered quickly. And this is where some interesting miscommunication occurred.

What was the miscommunication? And how did it get resolved?

All of my family are voracious readers – my siblings, my nephews and my niece, Melody. I knew she was already sharing this love of books with her twin girls, Emily and Sarah. I visited them in Calgary in March and read many of the stories already collected in the nursery.

This is where things started to go sideways. I knew that sending books was a perfect gift. The challenge was … which books did they already own? What would be a great choice that would be enjoyed throughout the coming year?

In the end, I choose a box set of books by Eric Carle (I think most of you will be familiar with The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and had them arrive in Calgary through Amazon Prime. But I was still feeling insecure, that the gift was a duplicate of books already in their library. Then I received this text from Melody:

“…thank you so much for the books for Emma and Sarah! They love books!!! We have already read most of them.”

I read this as an indication that my concern had been well-founded … that they did already have those books. I was disappointed, but not surprised. Here’s what I wrote back:

“I wondered about that. Don’t hesitate to give them away as a gift to someone else. Hope you have a great week.” 

What do you think happened next? Can you ‘hear’ it in these messages? You see, when we write, we write with a tone of voice in our head. When we read, we read with a tone of voice in our head. Sometimes these ‘tones’ don’t match … and this causes the miscommunication.

Melody wrote back and said:

“Oh no, I meant we have already enjoyed reading the new books with them. They are excited to have new books to read! Sarah especially loves the Birthday Surprise.” 

Ahhhh.  If this same exchange had taken place in real-time, in a phone conversation, I would have heard Melody correctly the first time. Here’s my text response:

“Thanks … I did misunderstand. I believe you’ve given me a blog post …” 

Real-time conversations provide us with the important information carried by our tone of voice. Keep including them as part of your communications with prospects, clients … and family!

#InspireConversation

5 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Texts”

  1. What a delightful misunderstanding! Sometimes these misread texts (voices, tones) bring out fear and anger. Oops!
    And then it’s hard to erase that first response, that first mistaken “tone of voice”. It just keeps echoing in the conversation.
    Pick up the phone to hear the tone ❤️

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Melody, for allowing me to use this story … and the beautiful photo of Emma and Sarah … as my blog post. And I’m glad the books as a gift worked out. Love you.

      Reply

Leave a comment

When you subscribe to my weekly blog below, you'll immediately receive a free chapter of The Phone Book.

Archives

Where’s The Phone Lady?

February 20 2020 - Reaching Decision Makers and Inspiring Action, Parnell Living Science, Overland Park, KS, Webinar

March 3 2020 - Dial In Free Webinar: Choosing Words Wisely! with special guest Kate Bonnycastle, wordsmith extraordinaire

March 4 2020 - Dial In Free Webinar: Choosing Words Wisely! with special guest Kate Bonnycastle, wordsmith extraordinaire

March 8 2020 - Phone Skills for the Independent Consultants, Epicure ,Cole Harbour, NS

March 9 2020 - Today's Phone Skills That Book Appointments Part I, Toronto-based investment firm, National Webinar

March 10 2020 - Phone Skills for Your Job Search, Job Junction Owl Program, Halifax, NS

March 12 2020 - Phone Skills for Your Job Search, Employment Solutions, Bridgewater, NS

March 16 2020 - Creating Consistent Revenue, CBDC NOBL, Truro, NS

March 16 2020 - Today's Phone Skills That Book Appointments Part II, Toront-based investment firm, National Webinar

March 18 2020 - How to Make Sales When You Hate Selling, Halifax Central Library, Halifax, NS

March 23 2020 - Embrace Nova Scotia: How to Maximize Every Tourist’s Experience of Our Province with Quantum Communications, Yarmouth, NS

March 27 2020 - Today's Essential Phone Skills to Reach Employers & Place Co-op Students, Dalhousie University, Science, Information Technology, Engineering Co-operative  Education, Halifax, NS

March 30 2020 - Today's Phone Skills That Book Appointments Part III, Toronto-based investment firm, National Webinar

Do you or your team want to improve your phone skills? Do you have a phone communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? I'd be pleased to connect with you to see if I can help. This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from me very soon.