$ I was doing my MBA. Among students there were people from various firms, various environments. There was a boy from a giant private company that used to be state-owned. That firm was practically a monopolist in their branch and they acted accordingly to their position in the market.
$ We usually hate them.
$ This guy was very clever and perspicacious; moreover, he was a senior manager. One day, at an accounting class he had so many doubts as far as one part of the calculation was concerned that the discussion with the teacher seemed never to finish. Suddenly, one of the students said: you know, Professor X, he works for the Company-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, there are always problems with them. The whole group laughed their heads off, the boy turned as red as a turkey-cock, I was sorry for him.
$ Policemen, hangmen. The employees of the Company-That-Must-Not-Be-Named are persons, too, aren’t they? Sympathy blocks communication, too, by the way.
$ Why? Doesn’t sympathy open the door to empathy?
$ When you sympathize with somebody, you take pity on them, you confirm their role of victims. Would you feel like chatting with someone who considers you a poor victim? Number 5.
$ That’s probably the most common block in communication.
A: Where is the toilet paper?
B: Run out.
A: You went shopping, didn’t you? Why didn’t you buy any?
B: You could do it yourself as well.
A: Please, tell me if you want me to buy something.
B: But you always forget what I ask you. And above all, you should deduce that house elves don’t change the toilet paper. You’re like your father, a sovereign prince, always ready to be served.
$ In this moment knives start to fly. Number 6.
$ Logical arguments are my favorite blocks.
$ Tell me more about it.
$ I used to live in a very hot country. I noticed very quickly that the meaning of the word ‘punctuality’ there was completely different from mine. Nevertheless, I wasn’t able to change my habits completely: I was very understanding when local people came late; however, I was nearly always on time. At the beginning, I enjoyed the local library: I spent much time there learning the language of that country. In order to use my time best and to hide from the heat I used to show up in the library as early as possible. It opened at 8.00 am. If I came before that, I waited, contemplating the sea until the church clock belled 8 times and then I enthusiastically entered the library. One day, the assistant upbraided me kind-heartedly saying: if you keep on coming so early, you’ll see one day it’ll be closed.
$ What was your reaction?
$ I’ll tell you in a second what my logical arguments were but first let me think about what I would answer today knowing what I know about pure communication. The assistant started from the level of her Inner Parent, woke up my Inner Parent with her logical argument and I said: But the office hours are from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm.
$ Your Inner Parent was critical, and hers – as you said – kind-hearted. She was addressing your Inner Child…
$ …and it didn’t get him so she got upset because she said: I don’t know where you are from but here we have another concept of punctuality. I felt ashamed. It wasn’t my intention to control the conscientiousness of the charming library assistant. I told her I was still learning this new (new to me) country and asked her not to worry: if I am supposed to wait, I will wait enjoying the sunshine and listening to the sea waves.