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“Your Old Isn’t The Same As My Old.”

I don’t know if it’s because today is my birthday or because my daughter can be quick with her words, but this exchange I had with her today was pretty funny.

We had a family conversation today to talk about plans to move in the next two years.  We discussed potential locations, plans, etc. .

After the conversation Devin did what Devin does – she began to research, investigate, and plan.  She jumps online, starts looking at houses in the areas we discussed.  By the way, I love her enthusiasm and willingness to jump in and get stuff done.

After bringing me several listings of modern styled homes, I reminded her of the type of house I’m looking for.  Without giving it much thought, I said, “Devin, I want an older style house.”  She shook her head, walked away and came back with some other available properties.  Again, I said, “Devin I want an older house.”  She looks at me and said, “Well daddy, your old isn’t the same as my old.” 

Devin was right, her old, isn’t my old.  I had to sit down with her, show her different styles and then she got it.  More importantly, I got it.   In that moment I was confronted with a common communication barrier many of us face and learned another leadership lesson that my children have been so kind to teach me.  I realized that defining important terms is important to effective communication.  In today’s conversation with Devin the word “old” was the important term that needed to be defined – I was ABLE to define it, but I didn’t.

Leadership Lesson for the ABLE Leader = When we clearly communicate and define important terms, people understand what we want and are more likely to meet our expectations. 

By the way,  I’m not sensitive to the word old because It’s my birthday and I’m a year older, but because it’s the style of house I want.  :)

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