top of page

Clear Communication- How important is it?

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Growing up on a cow-calf operation is a surefire way to end up with bucket calves.

My older brother and I were presented with a calf for the each of us one spring. When the calves were weaned off the bottle, we were put in charge of filling the feeder.

My dad’s 1955 Chevrolet pickup was our method of hauling feed to the feeder as it was the only pickup we had without a flatbed on it.

My brother had his driver’s license, so he was in charge of transportation. He is seven years older than I am, so if he was 15, I was 8 around at this time.

That meant I was in charge, right?

The 55 had a manual transmission with three on the tree, meaning the shifter was on the steering column. Its engine sounded like a squirrel running on a hamster wheel too. As my brother drove the pickup into the lot, I hopped out and assumed my role as director or what I thought was director anyways at the back of the pickup.

My parents stood outside of the pen. As my brother was failing to back up to the feeder to unload, I looked to my parents for guidance. I heard my dad say, “Back up.” I yelled at my brother, “Back up!”

Nothing happened. I looked at my dad again and heard him say, “Back up.” So I yelled “Back up!” at my brother even louder thinking that would help.

I’m not sure how many times this interaction repeated before my dad finally said, “No! I said back and up.”

Soon after we were unloading feed. None of us forgot how to put the 55 in reverse ever again.


There is a couple in their mid-80s who live down the street from me. They were having trouble with their decades old car overheating on long trips and when you live an hour from the nearest Walmart and major medical center in all four directions this is a problem.

With all of their kids living hours away, my husband and I were helping them look for a new vehicle. Every time we would find one that was in their price range, the husband would put the brakes on the project and bring up fixing the old one again. We couldn’t figure out why he balked whenever we found something that suited them.

After one particularly frustrating interaction, I suggested to his wife that she should ask him why he wanted to repair the old car. With that simple question it became clear that he was worried they would need the money for something else when what they really needed was a reliable vehicle to get them to doctor’s appointments. All frustration evaporated immediately and a newer vehicle was purchased soon after.

Sometimes when we think we couldn’t be clearer in our directions to our team members, but everyone’s logic and sometimes hearing ability is different.

Whether it is shifting gears or shifting the focus of a campaign clear communication matters.



DiSC 360

Want to get feedback in your workplace? We can help.

We offer a variety of feedback tools for Personality, Skills,

Strengths, and more.

Reach out today to schedule your 360 today!

bottom of page