A few years back I fell ill while on the road and ended up spending about a week in the hospital. As chance would have it, tonight I am staying in the exact same hotel as when this illness struck.

In an effort to share the irony, I sent a text message to two people who sat bedside with me during my hospitalization. My intention was to tell them, “hey…guess where I’m at” but it ended up coming across as, “hey, guess what happened to me again.” I spent nearly twenty minutes trying to reassure them both – via text message – that I was actually fine and not back in the hospital. I received messages such as “I hate you” and “I need a drink now” and “I seriously about had a heart attack “as my message became clear to them. On my end, I was doubled over in laughter and could not apologize enough for making them worry.

In the Mandt system, our chapter ‘Building Healthy Communication’ explores how communication is used to develop our relationships, and yet so much of modern communication is seriously lacking. The words that we use make up just 7% of our message. My friends could not hear my voice and they could not see my body language. There was 93% of that message that was completely left out. Yet, how much of business in this day and age is done via e-mails and text messages – utilizing just 7% of the communicative process? Likely not best practice, but nevertheless it is commonplace. Texting is so easy and unobtrusive. You can pull your phone out and in a matter of seconds shoot a message to someone. However, your mood and your attitude do not translate well in black and white on a tiny little cell phone screen. There’s so much potential for miscommunication.

Trust me on this one because I had an epic fail tonight. Sorry about that Tim and Amy! Next time I’ll call!

Nikki Wince – Faculty Supervisor