MISUNDERSTANDINGS--EXAMPLE OF a FLAG-AT-HALF-MAST
By Kevin Stoda, Missouri
According to Heidi Burgess, "Social conflicts often involve some misunderstanding. Parties in conflict communicate by what they say (or do not say) and how they behave toward each other. Even normal interaction may involve faulty communication, but conflict seems to worsen the problem. When two people are in conflict, they often make negative assumptions about "the other." Consequently, a statement that might have seemed innocuous when two parties were friends might seem hostile or threatening when the same parties are in conflict."
Burgess goes on to state in an essay entitled "Misunderstandings" that "[a]ll communication has two parts: a sender and a receiver. The sender has a message he or she intends to transmit, and s/he puts it in words, which, to her/him, best reflect what s/he is thinking. But many things can intervene to prevent the intended message from being received accurately."
I was struck by the importance of using the proper and most functional or appropriate tools in communicating one's message this week as American observed that the noxious" Runaway" General McChrystal was forced to bail-out-early in the war and on his troops in Afghanistan. (Was McChrystal just trying to get fired--and skip-out-of-Dodge, i.e. before things turn worse in Afghanistan? Or was he a fool in doing those interviews?)
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