I don’t like seafood… never have. Over the years, I have tried all types of fish, crab, shrimp, even lobster, and nothing tastes good to me. When Scott and I were first married and in the throes of a “disagreement” (that I was obviously winning), Scott tried to think of a snappy comeback to whatever I had said, so he shouted, “And you disliking seafood is going to be a detriment to my naval career!” What?? That statement quickly ended our “disagreement” as we both busted out laughing. Disliking seafood has NEVER been an issue in my life (or Scott’s career) because I have a sure-fire strategy to overcome this obstacle -- I just order chicken! When he was little, my oldest son disliked swimming in lakes. In his mind, the murky water hid slimy things that might bite. But he really wanted to learn how to waterski, so he developed a strategy to help him overcome his dislike. He would sing to take his mind off of the slimy things. As soon as he got in the water, he started singing. And I have no doubt that his dislike of the water totally helped him to get up on those skis the very first time he tried. As he smiled at his accomplishment and glided across the lake, you could see his lips moving. Yep! He was still singing, and I’m pretty sure that he still sings every single time he waterskis. Face it -- we all dislike “things” in our lives. Some people hate being late. Others dislike shopping in a mall. Some people hate sappy movies. Others dislike mowing the grass. But here’s the deal -- we all develop strategies to change or overcome the things we dislike. So people set clocks ahead, shop online, only watch comedies, and hire a yard service. Just like in life, we dislike certain things involved in communication experiences and misunderstandings top that list. Effective communication occurs when a transmitted message is received and understood. Misunderstanding that message can be frustrating for both the sender and receiver and cause wasted time, ill will, and even safety issues. So what strategies can we use to overcome misunderstandings? As a sender, make sure your message is clear. Others can’t read our minds, so work to clearly present your thoughts. It’s easy to forget important details in the middle of the communication experience, so write things down. Repeat important ideas. Make sure that both parties are engaged in the communication experience and not distracted. Work to communicate the message and not your emotions. Finally, take responsibility for a misunderstanding, and don’t blame the other person. Evaluate the experience and work on strategies to help you avoid misunderstandings in the future. It can be easy to overcome “dislikes” … I order chicken at seafood restaurants, Austin sings when waterskiing, and etc Strategies believes that there are easy ways to avoid communication misunderstandings. Now if I can only find a strategy to overcome my dislike of cooking ...