This is a classic cartoon about miscommunication. You can download a copy here. There are 12 unique pictures and each one shows a different interpretation of the same situation. The customer, analyst, consultant all see and hear things differently. If you are married, you don’t need a lecture on listening, but for those singles. . . beware.
See 3 of the 12 cartoon drawings below. You quickly get the point. I use this when I talk to MBAs about client and team management. The key message is simple: Listen.
Really listen to what is being said. Put it in context. Seek confirmation by writing meeting minutes, debriefing with team mates after a meeting, paraphrasing what you heard back to the client. Do not simply assume that you heard the client correctly.
At http://www.projectcartoon.com, the cartoon comes in 15+ languages including Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and others. For even more geeky fun, you can modify the cartoons here, by typing your own captions and changing the order of the frames. Enjoy.