My husband, Dave, and I were driving through Tucson on Saturday, looking for items for our new house. As we drove, we found a new Sirius radio station we both liked. I asked if he wanted me to save it to his Presets. He said "yes". I said, "The presets are all being used. Which one are you willing to "lose" in order to take on a new one?" He said, "I don't know---tell me what is in each location." When I said, "How about seven?" he said, "Seven is good" and quick as the blink of an eye, I had it switched out. He asked, "What did you do?" (which, if said to our 3 yellow Labs, will make them slink away with their tails tucked). I said, "I just changed preset 7 to The Bridge" He looked at me like I had grown three more heads and said, "But I said that preset was a good one". "Precisely." Oh!! We both realized at the same time----he meant "It's a good channel----don't change it". I meant "It's a good one to change".
This is a perfect example of how two people communicating can both be right and neither has to be wrong. The only problem occurs when one or both parties is not willing to "seek first to understand" the other person's perspective.
In our case, we laughed it off and said, "How could we have made that clearer to each other?" But miscommunications don't always have such happy (or even mundane endings). We can get wrapped up in our own mess so far, we forget how little the issue was in the first place.
Just for today, why not seek first to understand? You'll be happy you did!