I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure
you realize that what you heard is not what I meant
.” Bonnie Libhart


Communication is sharing information with another person in such a way that they understand not only what you say but also what you mean.

We speak in words but think in pictures. When what we say does not match the picture of the one with whom we are speaking, we have a miscommunication.

Example, my grandchildren and I returned from swimming and I asked them to hang their wet suits on the swing. The picture in my mind was the porch swing that we had just passed while entering the house.

Later as I was gathering laundry, there were no swimsuits on the swing.I inquired about the swimsuits; they insisted they were on the swing.

And they were.

They were on the swing they pictured in their minds - the swing set in the yard.

I chuckled as I thought of my friend Bonnie’s amusing transfix of words about how what we say is not always what is heard. If we do not give and or get corresponding pictures, then we have not understood one another.

Sometimes those miss-matched-pictures of miscommunications are humorous, sometimes they are irritating and sometimes they are dangerous.

Perhaps the three most common communications errors are 1) talking too much, 2) listening too little and 3) failure to understand. The failure-to-understand-coin is two-sided; incorrectly assuming we have spoken accurately and thus, equally incorrectly assuming the one to whom we have spoken has heard what we meant to say.

When instructions are given, there is always a speaker and a receiver. Know that things are not always as they seem. Consider the context. Consider your audience (i.e. age, life experiences). Be gracious. Rather than insisting your communication was 100% right on, be willing to see it from the other person’s point of view.

What I say, plus what you hear. What does it equal? What I have said? What you have heard? Neither? Where is the break down? Was it with the receiver? Was it with the sender? Both?

If your message is not getting across, spend time thinking and learning how better to express yourself. If you are not receiving information well, spend time thinking and learning how to seek understanding.

In both instances be patient, gracious and develop empathy. It’s worth the effort.

A good place to start is with St. Francis of Assissi’s prayer:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, To be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love… ”


Take Charge of Your Life

Noted Psychiatrists, Dr. William Glasser, suggests the term “mental health” be replaced with “responsibility”.

Responsibility is the ability to get one’s needs met without depriving others of meeting theirs. When needs are unmet we feel unfulfilled and fail to live at optimum wellness. We are not taking charge of our lives.

In 1998 I attended a lecture given by Dr. Glasser in which he intimated that certain physical and mental maladies are chosen. I took issue with that; I mean, anyone who would choose pain and misery and unhappiness would have to be crazy!

He went on to explained our basic needs and how we are driven to have them met. Our health – physical as well as mental and emotional - is dependent on how our body responds to our actions, our thoughts and the way we feel about things.

This led me to do some deep thinking. I ask myself some hard questions: Was swallowing my anger inflaming my joints? Was my angry not only harming relationships but also my physical heart and blood pressure? How am I hurting myself?

I believe in God and wish to be responsible with the freewill given me. I began to pray. “Lord, I do not want to hurt others but neither do I want to harm myself.”

I began to practice the genius of Dr. Glasser’s wisdom. When we begin to lovingly notice our disconnecting habits of thought and actions we can then choose to turn our attention to matters that leads to greater health and happiness and improved relationships. Only when we come to a conclusion for our self are we willing to make changes or take charge of our own life.

Oh, and my health today? Thanks for asking. Peace reigns, relationships flourish, business is good, movement is pain free, most meds have been cut in half and I am releasing weight every day.

How about you? Are you ready to take charge of your life?

Well here’s the deal. William Glasser International has unveiled a new course titled, Take Charge of Your Life, an introduction to choice-theory psychology. The focus in this course is application to one’s personal life. It is involves the empowering notion of making our own choices in every area – thinking, feeling, acting, relating, responding. The concepts are easy to learn easy to apply and produce amazing results.

Dr. Glasser died in August at his home in Los Angeles, CA. This course was developed to provide a living tribute to Dr. Glasser’s vision to “Teach The World Choice Theory.” www.glassersunbelt.com

For the months of June and July 2014, the Faculty of the William Glasser Institute is offering this introductory course at no charge to the participants. There is no limit to the number of participants. It can be taught in one 6-hour session, two 3-hour sessions or three 2-hour sessions.

To schedule Take Charge of Your Life for your business, school, church or civic organization, please contact Mona Dunkin, 254-749-6594. A limited number of spaces are available. Call today.