By Callie Oettinger | Published: May 11, 2012
The hard part of sharing is ensuring that what you’ve said is what is heard.
Experience is a factor.
At baseball games, my four-year-old sings “Take me out to the ball game . . . buy me some peanuts and Apple Jacks . . . ” She’s had the cereal more often than the snack, so her understanding of the lyrics is infused with personal experience.
What to do?
Misunderstandings are impossible to avoid. When sharing Steve’s work, we’ve tried to remain clear and straightforward. We know readers bring their own experiences to everything they read/do—and we know we can’t control that piece.
Trying too hard is a factor.
Last summer, a college student came to my door to sell me on the services of the company for which she worked. She told me all about what the other companies in my area didn’t do. Something about her being nice and stumbling over her message, trying to keep things straight, and me remembering when I was in that position years ago, kept me from shutting the door. I stuck around until Silence visited. I asked her a little about what she was doing that day, going door to door and then thanked her and turned down the company.
What to do?
What the college student didn’t know was that I had been unhappy with my current company and was looking for a new one. Her personality had won me over. Had she spent less time talking about why all the other companies were bad, and more time stating what was right about her company, I would have jumped ship. She was trying too hard, and it back-fired. As Steve would say, she wasn’t “sitting chilly.”
I can’t tell you how many phone calls Steve, Shawn, Jeff, and I have had about how we share with others. At some point, we’ve all been that young college student. And while our hearts go out to her, we don’t want to be her again. We want to share what makes the most sense, in the way that we’d want to receive it ourselves.
Audio interference is a factor.
This week I decided to ditch my fax machine and separate phone line and save some money by using an online fax service for those rare instances when a fax is the only way to get things done.
I called a few companies. The one with the best pricing and program had a problem with audio interference. As I spoke with the salesman, I heard Impatience and Condescension answer my questions. Online, the company came through loud and clear. Via one of its reps, it was garbled, corrupted. I tuned out.
What to do?
Steve can’t do all of the sharing. It eats into the time he needs to write his books. Shawn, Jeff and I work with Steve to share his work. Do I feel like I’ve always gotten it right? No.
Every now and then Petty and Anger stop by for a visit. They like to debate Sanity and Calm. I hate to admit that there’s a battle, but one happens from time to time—usually when Nasty visits the comments section. And sometimes, I’m just tired. It’s easier to be short—which just brings on the audio interference. In the end, tuning into the “Do Right” frequency allows for the greatest, most-well-received broadcast.
There are other factors, but the three above are the ones that seem to pop up the most often.
In the end, we’re trying to remain clear and straight-forward, sit chilly, and do right.