That’s not what I meant.

Goodness could this be any more of a mess.  The more I talked the more I messed things up.  The conversation started off positive and exciting.  I love  brainstorming ideas.  I thought that’s what she wanted from me. I loved idea of being a part of her team.  And then things changed.  I couldn’t believe what she just said – did she realize how hurtful her comments were?  Did she understand her statement made me feel as if I wasn’t good enough.

She didn’t want my creative input, just my knowledge.  I wasn’t to be a part of the creative process, just a source of information. Ouch.  I asked for clarity, surely I misunderstood her.  No,  we don’t need you.

I went from excitement to fighting back tears in less than six seconds.

Looking back, I’m sure she didn’t realize just how her words stung.  She didn’t see me as valuable or important to her team.  In fact, I wasn’t even on her team.  She had people she trusted to create and implement her ideas – I wasn’t in that circle. 

I’d misunderstood from the start.  What I thought was a request to join her team was no more than a request for information. 

I was in the midst of the miscommunication muddle — a state of confusion caused by misunderstanding.

Miscommunication is a part of life, but it can cause so much confusion.  I learned so much from that one incident.

Clarify what the person is asking of you. Don’t assume.

Her: Can you come to our team meeting Tuesday? 

You: I would love to! 

You think you’re invited to join her team.  She has an entirely different agenda.   And that’s why follow up questions are crucial!

You:  You would like to have me come to your team meeting?  Is there anything you would like me to bring or prepare? 

Her: Yes, can you share with us how birds fly.

Now you know WHY she’s inviting you.  There may be an invitation to join the team later, but right now you are just sharing your expertise. 

If I’d asked the right questions I could have stopped the miscommunication before it started and I would have saved myself hurt feelings.  

Have you ever been caught in a miscommunication muddle?