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Thread: Listening, sigh

  1. #1
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    Listening, sigh

    I think we have a problem with listening, really I have seen an increase with this in the last year. At least active listening is a real problem. Some of the communication around our summer camp had been horrible. I tried to meet with the school principal for months but she didn't respond, one time I came for our meeting and she was not there. Meanwhile our summer partner (morning tutoring) was able to meet with her. The summer guy is nice but he also seems to be just smiling and nodding without really getting it. At one point we needed an inspection done for the license and the principal sent them away saying she knew nothing. There are all sorts of really important details that people are not getting, like our registration packets or that we are using the building so they will have to stock bathrooms or we need time to move out an entire camp. The parents also are not processing what the last day of camp is, we have signs in the doors, flyers, newsletters, OMG.

    So I am going to give my supervisor a break when I think our meetings are going over the same list with increasing volume every time, apparently that is necessary. And now go move a camp this afternoon in 30 minutes because no one remembers the conversation we had about extra time, and send the principal photos to prove we cleaned up because no one gave us office space and we used the copy room

  2. #2
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    I was just asking the other night in a staff meeting what we needed to move towards to get our congregation's attention. Currently there are bulletin announcement sheet, weekly e-news, a church in-house magazine, website calendar, text blasts...we've followed the trends with short bullet point type announcements giving the basic details not wordy at all yet no one seems to know what is going on. The youth ministers are so frustrated because they'll hand out the parent permission forms 8 times for a single activity and still the day of the event they are searching for parents to sign forms.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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    I think this is a result of information overload, as in too many channels of info--the multiplicity of ways I am supposed to tell my students things, when in the old days, I would stand at the front of the room and tell them things and the would write it down. Listening had a much higher value when that was how we learned things. Now, everyone is getting the same messages multiple ways, and the burden seems to be on the sender, and not the receiver. It's an interesting issue, Zoe.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Our volunteer work tires me because too many people dont bother to keep up with the information we put out.

    very soon, so close I can taste it, I will be closing down our plant society. But for that to happen I need a quorum for a vote. For the quorum I need people to agree to a date to meet. For that agreement to take place they have to have, and read, my email messages. Since that is not happening I will now get to telephone them and coddle the ones who cannot seem to carry out their responsibilities by reading freekin' email.

    In this group, some months ago, the VP dropped email,and didnt tell me. "We dont really use it, and I dont miss it" said his wife. Um, email is how we communicate, what do you expect me to do, print email messages and mail them to you? So yep, tnat is what I do. Then later she said "is this information printed somehwere." So, I iterated that yes, it is printed in the national publication but they are not members of the national organization. It is all over our website, but they do not have internet. What is it that people expect me to do, come siti their living room and hand them paper, read it to them, turn pages for them?

    Our treasurer doesnt read email. She had it, ut never read it. so, another snail mail receiver.

    I am tired to death of people who pretend to do volu neer work but will not step up to participate in standard communication devices.

  5. #5
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    How frustrating overall! I know my mom is in her 70's and she checks email and text messages on a regular basis. She also check facebook for pictures but I usually have to tell her when there is a good one posted. I was going to try and teach her google docs for the ongoing agenda and notes for her committee work but that seems too much. I agree the burden is on the sender, and the one that cares the most like in your case IrisLilies.

    So my one situation with our summer camp site l got kinda resolved, I stuck to the conversations until I felt I was being heard. Apparently the school year principal stopped by and was so upset that we had an office set up in the copy room and materials stored there that I have to send photos to prove we cleaned up. Add to that we only have 30 minutes after camp closes to be totally out. In the conversation with the facilities manager he agreed that he had told us we could use the room, and that he forgot we needed extra time on the last day but we had talked about it. I also got to tell him that we actually had very little in the way of materials compared to other camps, he commented that we had sooo much stuff. Um no, I have 4 hours a day with 35 kids. Most camps are almost 12 hours with 60 kids, they get entire rooms for materials, sports equipment and snacks.

    Then I talked to the summer school principal as well, He is a super nice guy but I really did need to get heard there. It took some time and some schmooze, but it did work out. He was shocked that we only get 30 minutes to clean up. I also explained to him that not only did I see this coming months in advance but couldn't get the principal to meet with me but that my staff is overhearing the custodians complain about our program being here. So he took it seriously, I have worked with him a little before, and we are both requesting my home school for next summer so we can run a program there together. The rooms have been way too hot for our program as well.

    So I am running materials to storage now! Yeah!

  6. #6
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    Were you saying something? The general populace seems to be too busy playing with their phones to hear you.

    At least it feels like that to me. Listening and comprehension (both auditory and reading), suck.
    Years ago, we were told to read a book, called get your point across in 30 seconds or less. Now I can pass information along that meets that criteria, and it will still have to be gone over and repeated.

  7. #7
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    Wow, I have been at a different camp 3 days, the kind that parents pay a lot of money for, and the communication is much better. I have had a few calls so that means parents got my number for the week I am subbing, which means they read their emails. Then I went to see a friend and help her at the camp she is subbing at, kinda a wreck honestly. But still parents were talking to me and staff more, at least less of questions that have been answered over and over

  8. #8
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    Just curious, Zoe Girl, are most of the parents in your program native English speakers?
    The reason I ask, is because in my experience, much of what we put out to parents in writing, whether email, flyers, newsletters, texts- they were unable to actually Read. Sad, but true. (illiterate in both their home language and English).

  9. #9
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    IL, my suggestion for you is to schedule a lunch or dessert, they will show up. Get them to vote, feed them, Done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 View Post
    IL, my suggestion for you is to schedule a lunch or dessert, they will show up. Get them to vote, feed them, Done.
    Ues, thats what I am doing.

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