A doctor decided to put his overweight patient on an unconventional diet. He advised him, “Eat your regular meals for two days, then ‘skip’ a day. Do this for two weeks and come back to see me. I would expect you to lose at least five pounds.”
Two weeks later, the patient returned for his appointment and surprised the doctor by losing 20 pounds.
“You lost all that weight by following my instructions?” the doctor asked.
The man responded, “Yes, but I thought I was going to drop dead on the third day.”
“From hunger?” asked the doctor.
“No,” said the man. “From skipping.”
Do you think the doctor rephrased the instructions for the next patient?
Avoiding misunderstandings is fundamental to a successful workplace, not to mention life in general. Getting along is largely dependent on your communication skills. If doing your job is important, you need to let people know what you’re doing, and you need to understand what they want from you.