The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Best Practice: Learn to Decode Secret Messages

Posted by kenhoward on June 1, 2007

People often speak in a secret hidden language. Recognizing this, and learning to “decode” may eliminate much stress from your life, and greatly enhance our ability to communicate with others. If you master this singular skill, you can remain happily married, be a stellar employee, and become a whiz at small talk.

Spouse says, “I’m the only one who does any work around this house — you’re all slobs!”
Translated: “I had a crappy day and I’m really tired. I like coming home to a clean house, and I’m really disappointed when I come home from work and it’s a mess. I would really appreciate it if all of you would stop what you’re doing for a while and help me tidy up a bit. That would help me relax.”

Boss says, “You’re late again!”
Translated: “There are certain things that are important to me, and being at work at 8:00 is one of them. When people show up to work at 8:00, that tells me that they like working here and are enthusiastic about starting their day. That makes me feel good. Please be at work by 8:00 so I can feel good.”

Person you just met at a party says, “Nice weather lately!”
Translated: “I don’t know anything about you or what interests you. I’m going to throw you and easy one to see what you do with it. If you respond normally, and are pleasant, hopefully we can dive into some other topic that’s not as boring.”

Your response: “Yes, sure is!”
Translated: “Ok, I’ll take the bait. I don’t know many people here either, and it would sure pass the time to have someone to talk to. Maybe we’ll even find we have something in common and find something that’s actually interesting to talk about.”


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