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Mismatched Communication

One of my all time favourite movies is “Cool Hand Luke” and my favourite line from the move is: “what we go here is a failure to communicate”.

This line is delivered by the Boss (chain gang boss) to Luke when Luke dares to challenge his authority

The regime in this Mississippi prison allows only one of two responses to a question from a Boss:  –“yes, Boss” or “no, Boss”.  Luke does not/cannot or will not understand this and, well if you’ve seen the movie you will know the rest. If you have not seen it, you should rectify that straight away. You’ll learn a lot about communication for starters.

In the workplace failure to communicate properly is often described as a mismatched communication.  In other words, while we all have a preferred way of communicating that may not always resonate with the other person.

Think about your own communication style and consider if it helps or hinders your relationship with, for instance, your boss. If your boss is a careful and reflective communicator and you are a quick-as-lightning action man or woman, your boss may see you as impulsive and not sufficiently strategic in your thinking. You may then have a “failure to communicate”


What to do? Think about it. Your style may be clashing with that of your boss and that may be damaging to you.


If this is indeed the case, you don’t need to reinvent yourself totally but you may need to modify your communication style to create a better matched communication with your boss.

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