Unfolding plans 134 – Sonic coats

Lee told some great stories today.  It was at our latest round of presentations.  It was his turn to get involved.  I try to spread the love around.  The theme for this time was trust and no doubt I’ll come back to this in a later blog.  Lee went on to talk about how we assume that people have a different understanding of things than we do.  Sometimes we take it for granted that they understand in the way that we do, yet they don’t.  This is particularly true of technology.  When you work in technology it’s easy to fall into the trap that everyone else understands what is going on and at times, they clearly don’t.

He told a couple of great stories which had little to do with our work immediately but did once you stopped to think about them.  I was going to try and get both of them into this blog but I try to stick to about five hundred words. I’ll split them up.

His first story was about one of his daughters who was still at school at the time.  She is still quite young.  Anyway, Lee turns up at school to collect her only to find her in some distress.  She had mislaid her coat.  Lost was the word she used.  It is a red coat and every child has a peg to hang theirs on.  I’m sure you remember how it was when you were at school.  Lee goes into the cloak rooms to try and help her.  By this time most of the children have gone and taken their coats with them but there are still a few lying, or rather hanging around (coats that is and not children).

They look on his daughter’s peg and sure enough, the coat isn’t there.  Lee looks around and on the peg immediately opposite that of his daughter’s is a red coat.  ‘Is this your coat he asks?’ and yes, it turns out that it is.  His daughter looks on in amazement at her dad’s coat finding skills.

Just as they are about to leave though a little voice asked if Lee can help.  A little boy had also mislaid his coat.  He tells Lee that it is a blue one with a picture of Sonic the Hedgehog on it.  Lee looks about and low and behold on another peg is a blue Sonic coat.  ‘Is this your coat he asks?’ and yes it is but we’ve already done that bit.  It is incredible.  Lee has become the master of coat finding.  He is a hero in the eyes of the children.

So what is the moral?  Not everyone can see the things that we can.  Simple problems to us can be complicated and frightening to others.  We need to step back and consider how others may see a situation.

I love a story with a happy ending.  The way Lee told it was much more amusing than the way I have.  Stories are such powerful ways of getting our messages across.  We try to use them as much as we can because there is nothing more human than a story.

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