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38 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 First Page Sage There were times when I thought my dog Henry was part Vulcan. I would hear about how other dogs would bark at the front or back door to go outside or bark at their empty food dish, wanting dinner, but Henry would walk over to me and stare. After a while, I began to seriously wonder if he had some sort of tele- pathic thing going on like Mr. Spock on Star Trek. If so, I must have been too dense to get the message because the only thing I ever re- ceived was a feeling of unease at his creepi- ness. Sometimes, Henry's intent was obvious. For instance, if I was eating something, he would invade my personal space and stare intently at my food in hopes of getting some leftovers (Figure 1). But most of the time, he would lock onto me with this zombie-like stare, which was absolutely unnerving. I tried to ignore him until I couldn't stand it any longer; then, I would finally yell at him in exasperation, ask- ing, "What do you want?" Did he want a treat, or did he need to go out- side to take care of his personal needs? Did he want to play, or was he out of food or water? Perhaps the cattle had escaped from the pas- ture while the barn was burning down, and a little boy had fallen into a well, but probably not since we didn't have a barn or a well, and he wasn't Lassie. I was taught that communication takes place in the mind of the receiver. Just because we think that we have clearly expressed our thoughts and ideas doesn't necessarily mean that we have successfully communicated. If the person we are talking to doesn't under- stand what we are trying to say, communica- tion hasn't taken place. I'm sure that Henry thought that I was a complete idiot for not un- derstanding what he wanted, but without a clear message from him, he wasn't going to get through to me. Communication is Still the Key Tim's Takeaways Feature Column by Tim Haag, CONSULTANT Figure 1: Sometimes, there was no doubt about what Henry wanted.

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