CacheCrazy.Com: The challenge to be understood

Monday, March 14, 2011

The challenge to be understood


By: Bloodhounded
Happy Monday! That is an oxymoron!




 On Friday I had my annual performance evaluation. I did pretty well but like everyone, I have a few areas that need some work, I guess. I can deal with that. The problem is; I still get the impression that my supervisor (who is the Senior VP of Operations) still doesn’t completely understand what I do! At home my kids certainly don’t understand what I am doing and even with this blog, my wife knows it’s here but, really doesn’t follow it or understand why I’m up al night typing. My coworkers and I really don’t connect either and my friends wonder where I’ve been most of the time. Even the dogs treated me like I was a stranger this morning.

To top all of this off, my hobbies of raising mallard ducks, collecting trout stamps, sustaining marine aquaria, HTML code writing (learning), agricultural crop tender (soon to be) and geocaching. These seem to perplex most folks. I mean, have you ever tried to explain geocaching to someone who has never heard of it?

A true story:
The team and I were searching for a microcache on an urban memorial with a real cannon and many flags. We carefully worked our way through every inch of that place and while doing so a car pulled up to us and the guy inside said, “Can I help you guys out with something?” he said while wondering why we were combing the area. “We’re looking for a geocache” I told him. “Is that where you lost it?” he asked and I was just getting ready to break into my spiel but, instead just said “YES”. He drove off; we made the find and called it a day. I wasn’t exactly sure how to explain it in twenty words or less so decided to forfeit. He likely would have shaken his head “yes” but inside he would be thinking “huh???” Just add him to the list of the un-understandable.

As we go about our days in our personal and professional lives we often forget that we set the standards for ourselves and “expect others” to know what those values are. Then we have the tenacity to say “you don’t understand me”! DUH! Maybe I just wasn’t clear.

“Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt using GPS technology, online services and hidden containers called caches that you find”. There. 20 words. Now do you understand?

Being a huge fan of the HR and motivational guru Mr. Stephen Covey, his principle of seeking first to understand, then to be understood comes to mind. As one of Covey's published "habits" of "Highly Effective People", this one tends to be the most challenging. Many of us (self included) live in a world of our own, sometimes thinking only of ourselves and how to "get ahead" in life without putting considerable thought into what value we bring to others. The challenge I face many times is patience and the genuine listening necessary to truly understand what that value looks like.

I must be grouchy today and should just have another coffee and be thankful for my valuable blessings. Compared to those poor people in Japan whose whole world is turned upside down, my problems seem very small, tiny in fact, nearly invisible. So, I’ll stop now and hope that you will join me in saying a prayer for all who have suffered an unfathomable, life changing, natural disaster and in the midst of all that they have lost; their only value of happiness is “life” itself. God bless them all, amen.
 

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