As long as I can remember, my parents have always drummed into my head that actions almost always speak louder than words and it definitely appears that this is what more of us are doing these days; using actions to relay the message rather than using words.
All well and good but whenever these actions are not quite what the recipient expects or whenever the recipient is blindsided, it sure leaves a very bad taste and more often than not this causes more problems than could have been avoided if words were used in a professional and tasteful manner to convey the message.
Here are some examples.
Jane Dough formed a committee with two other persons to promote and develop the playing of chess in her area. A Facebook group was created and Jane helped to craft emails to be circulated announcing the formation of a chess club and it included times and places to meet.
Lo and behold! Shortly after the Facebook group was created, Jane received an email telling her that she was unsubscribed from the Facebook group.
Then when she wanted to discuss a possibility to raise funds to send vision impaired kids to a chess camp; it was for the most part ignored by the other members of the committee.
Then 4 days before the January 28 meeting, Jane received an invitation to join the IO group and then there was a follow up announcement for the Jan 28 get together.
In Jane’s mind, this was a clear indication that these actions spoke much louder than words; in short, Jane was dumped but neither of these two committee members felt that it would have been better to speak to her directly!
Anna Cake had been attending pottery classes at a pottery studio for several years, but after it had been sold, Anna told the new owner that she wished to continue with her pottery. The new owner agreed, but said that she would let her know about the upcoming classes. She faithfully promised to reach out when she was ready to start classes.
Recently however, Anna heard from her former teacher that classes were in full swing and that the new owner had students in her class but no one had told Anna.
Now, it could have been that the new owner forgot to contact Anna but what is hazy here is that the new owner had emphatically told Anna that she would not be taking on any new students but Anna was told by the former owner that the new owner had a new student in her class.
Here, actions may have been used to replace words!
Or we have examples of persons who use actions to relay messages rather than being honest enough to speak to the person. How about the one who told an untruth when he said that he could no longer continue with his position on a board because of a conflict of interest with his new employer when in truth and in fact he never spoke to his employer about any sort of conflict of interest and the employer was most surprised to learn that said individual was no longer on said board.
A lot of hurt feelings could have been avoided if words were used to relay the message rather than hiding behind actions. It has left a perception that this individual simply did not want to continue on the board but did not have the guts to say so.
Finally, we have the trainer who was left gasping after he had learned from one of his students that he had been replaced. His employer never told him that he was no longer the trainer. He had to find out via the long, hard, and very unprofessional way!
Just my two cents for today.