Unclear Instructions

confusing signI came across this sign when I stopped for lunch on a long drive.  While I understand the intent of the sign I just had to take a picture because of the absurdity of the wording on the sign.  Had I, indeed all who wanted to eat at the establishment, followed the actual instructions the place would be quickly out of business since they did not have a drive through facility.

How would I leave my vehicle to ask for permission when that would result in it being unattended?  Luckily for me, I didn’t notice the sign until after I’d eaten and it just gave me something to ponder as I continued my drive.

Sometimes it is amazing that anything is ever accomplished when unclear instructions abound.  Precise communication is about so many things.

First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.

~Aristotle

Of course, you are always clear when you initiate communications, so you can anonymously share this post with those that you think need to think about their own communication style.  What about when you aren’t the initiator?  Do you ask questions to make certain that you understand the expectations, next steps, intended outcome?

There is also the emotional response to a communication.  If I had been in a bad mood and seen the sign in the parking lot before I parked, I might have gotten offended and found someplace else to eat.  After all, ‘please be quiet’ and ‘shut up’ are essentially the same request.  But the emotional response is worlds different depending on which phrase you chose to use.

I learned a tremendous amount about precise communication as a young mother.  It isn’t a good idea to say vague things to one’s children, the outcome is rarely pleasant.

So if I ever seem to be unclear, ask me about it.

© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

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