The ‘rents came to town yesterday to keep the kids (The Boss & I will be taking some rare days off to celebrate our 3652nd day of marriage!). Coordinating ETA with mom via cell phone (which in itself is a bit of a miracle — my folks handling cell phone technology). In the first conversation, I didn’t explicitly get a time of arrival, but instead a location. Since they were coming via a path and direction I am quite familiar with, I had their time within about 10 minutes (taking into account driving styles). When that time came and went plus thirty minutes, I called again. They were sitting in a grocery store parking lot less than 3 minutes from my house eating “dinner”. We were huddled at the house waiting for their arrival to eat dinner.As the basic term misunderstanding implies, we had two different interpretation and rememberences of what had been discussed before. The phrase “just like we discussed…” is only valid when both parties remember discussing it and the conditions are clear. In this case, neither was the case.In family situations in which dinner is the only risk, we can all laugh about it later and chalk it up to generational differences or sorry listening skills. But in business, training, sales, and customer service, the message communicated is really all that matters. Did you say you’d call back? Did you say when? Did you say you’d have the demo ready? Did you say you’d email all class participants with the follow-up answer? Did you say that’d you’d follow up with the McMillan account for your buddy who is on vacation?Well, did you?

Clarify all action items, document expected results, and do it.

Be a few days before I’m back posting again. Thanks for all the readership and comments (I get more private comments than we get on the blog, and I appreciate both).

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