What Does That Mean?

It’s funny how we accept things at face value.

What do I mean by that?

When someone says something, we accept what they say with our meaning attached.

Example: Boss to a worker – “I’m not happy with your work ethic. You will have to work harder.”

What does this mean?

Most workers will take it to mean the boss thinks they are lazy and they will have to get more done. The worker then feels emotionally down as they think they are not good enough.

When someone makes a statement like the above, get clarity.

What the boss thinks a good work ethic is and what you think it is can be poles apart.

Also, what does work ‘harder’ mean. Everyone has their own interpretation.

Get clear on it.

Ask: Thank you for sharing that. Can I please ask what specifically you are not happy with? When you say you would like me to work harder, can you please define that and give me an example.

Another example: I received a message from a client’s partner to say my client was running a bit late and wouldn’t be that long before she arrived for her one hour appointment.

What does this mean?

My definition of ‘a bit late’ and ‘won’t be that long’ is 5 to 10 minutes max.

My client arrived 40 minutes late.

Definitely not my definition of a ‘bit late’.

Instead of accepting what someone says with your definition attached, it may just pay to get clarity on what they actually mean.

You’ve got this.