Communication lessons

To me communication is so very important. There are many forms of communication but if you understand the importance of the main ones it is easier to understand and communicate with others. With communication you have a sender and a receiver, and now the big problems comes in when the receiver is not receiving which means they are not listening or paying attention.

As you may or may not know, my Dad is an airline pilot and he often comes home with many funny stories about things that happened at work. This one is a classic when it comes to bringing the communication point home.

Its about a Boeing 747 that was headed down the runway on its way to London. Halfway down the runway, one of the engines fails and the pilots get bells and whistles in the cockpit. The Captain decides to abort the take-off and the huge airplane comes to a screeching halt on the runway. The tyres are smoking and there is a lot of smoke all around, but  no real cause for alarm.


The normal procedure is to wait for the captain’s command to evacuate if the problem is serious. Before the captain can make the announcement, the in charge flight attendant calls the cockpit in a panic.

“Captain, must we evacuate?” she asks alarmed. “Standby” replies the Captain, meaning stand by while I look at the situation. Once he has decided that they certainly do not need to evacuate, he says “Okay, go ahead” meaning that she can go ahead with what she was saying.

The in charge takes this as go ahead and evacuate, she gives the command to the rest of the crew, and the pilots watched as the entire 747 was evacuated for no other reason than a communication break down.

So, the next time you communicate with someone else, make sure you are clear, and that the message comes across clearly.