Misunderstanding Comes From Lack Of Explanation

(Photo sourced from Flickr)

I've read countless stories of people taking photos in places and got told off by security. As a result, photographers got unhappy and bring their complaints online.

The problem here is how the situation was handled. Almost all misunderstanding and unhappiness comes from the fact that there wasn't any explanation given.

There's another photographer who was told by the security not to take photos at MRT stations. The security said it was for, of course, security reasons. The photographer understood the situation and left. There wasn't any bad feelings.

When people don't give explanations, that's no different from giving orders. No one likes to be ordered around. Especially by someone who doesn't seem to know why they are doing it.

This reminds me of a social experiment I've read. There was long queue at the photocopy machine. How can you jump the queue without getting stares? Simple, just give people knowledge of why you're jumping queue. Say you have a stomach pain and need to scan a few pages before hitting the loo. People will understand.

Another example I like is the case of missing baggage of Businessweek editor Jena McGregor. Her bags were lost by the airline during her flight. She was annoyed. However, she admitted that she didn't need her bags if the airline had given her information on where her bags were and when they are getting back to her.

PM Lee said that we should improve our social etiquette before hosting the Youth Olympics in 2010. We know why we need to, but how to do it professionally is a totally new ball game.