September 5, 2013

Something you've never done

Communication. Why is it such a challenging concept?
I'm struggling at my day job with both a misrepresentation and misunderstanding. Because something was presented to me in an obtuse way, I adopted a certain line of thinking that I have had for nearly one year. I was recently told my thinking was wrong and while I've explained my position and how arrived at my understanding, rather than working towards a reasonable middle ground that benefits both parties, I was told that my way of thinking was untenable. Seriously? It's the reality in which I have functioned for nearly one year and on which our relationship is based; how can that be untenable?

Untenable is a strong word that polarizes parties even when they have mutually beneficial goals. It's the true role of the public relations communicator to not allow untenable situations arise. This is perhaps my greatest challenge with individuals who consider themselves adept at public relations but who are not public relations professionals. They put on a smiley face and glad-hand those whom they want to influence; however, when there is a misunderstanding that does not go their way, they are the first to cut bait, indicate my way or the highway, burn bridges, and perform every other tired cliche for moving on. 

Even true public relations professionals are challenged by this mindset because it is so self-serving. It's difficult to serve the greater good when one or both parties decide they can't, or won't, work with one another. 

Of course, had I realized I had an questionable belief one year ago, I would have struggled to learn more and to perhaps revise my interpretation. Now I feel put off to the point that not working together may just fit my needs as well. There's a quote that says, "If you want something you've never had, then you've got to do something that you have never done." This may just be the day I do just that. Wish me luck. 

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