Monday, February 7, 2011

Management Stories # 7 - Communication

This story is going to explain the importance of good communication, and some fundamental principles behind it.


As is bound to happen sometime, two different international calls got crossed. These were between a Chinese (Lee Sum Wan) and an Indian (Mr Sori).

Lee Sum Wan: "Hello, can I speak to Annie Wan?"

Mr Sori: "Yes, you can speak to me."

Lee Sum Wan: "No, I want to speak to Annie Wan."

Mr Sori: "You are talking to someone! Who is this?"

Lee Sum Wan: "I'm Sum Wan. I need to talk to Annie Wan. It's urgent."

Mr Sori: "I know you are someone and you want to talk to anyone! But what's this urgent matter about?"

Lee Sum Wan: "Look, just tell my sister Annie Wan that our brother was involved in an accident.

Noe Wan was injured and now Noe Wan is being sent to the hospital. Right now, Avery Wan is going to the hospital."

Mr Sori: "Well, if no one was injured and no one was sent to the hospital from the accident, that isn't an urgent matter! You may find this hilarious, but I don't have time for this!"

Lee Sum Wan: "You are very rude. Who are you?"

Mr Sori: "I'm Sori."

Lee Sum Wan: "You should be sorry. Now give me your name!"

Mr Sori: "I'm Sori!"

Lee Sum Wan: "I don't like your tone of voice, mister, and I don't care. Now give me your name!"

Mr Sori: "Look, lady, I told you already. I'm Sori! I'm Sori! I'm SORI! You didn't even give me your name!"

Lee Sum Wan: "I told you before, I'm Sum Wan! Sum Wan! You better be careful, man. My father is Sum Buddy. And my uncle holds a very prestigious position in the family business. He is Noe Buddy."

Mr Sori (sarcastically): "Oh, I'm so scared. Look, I don't care about your uncle; he's a nobody. Everybody thinks he's top dog and holding an important position in the company."

Lee Sum Wan: "No, Avery Buddy just married my aunt. And Avery Buddy doesn't work there."

Mr Sori: "Like I said, I don't care which one of your aunts sleeps around, and I also know that not everybody works here! Jeez! Now, which one of my employees do you want to talk to?"

Lee Sum Wan: "Wheech Wan is my sister!"

Mr Sori: "I don't know which one is your sister! How in God's name would I know that......and they both put the phone down angry at each other...i wonder why?????


Here ends the story, but sometimes this is exactly how some people work within an organization. Without really understanding the organizational policy, culture or needs, they just go about dictating their own terms all around, and at the end of a long conversation (which could sometimes last years), they understand that they have so far been talking crap or addressing a wrong audience.

So, it is very critical to really be in a mind to listen, have the intent to be attentive and patient, and more importantly, respect the other person talking to you, even if you are seeing them for the first time.

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