How do you take things…. The Epic Prank

I am sitting at my desk at home writing this blog about the we we receive communications and things from others. In the Communications Model that I teach when doing keynotes and workshops, I talk about how we send a message, encoding it using our paradigms and then the other person that is receiving the message decodes it using their paradigms. So we need to be careful how we encode communication and consider the other persons paradigms. Today however, I want to talk about how we decode a message and I am going to use the example of the EPIC Prank I did on my daughter at Cuboree.

I have already written a blog on the Cuboree that Scouts ACT ran last weekend and how the teenagers were a valued and vital part of the running of the event. My youngest daughter, Anna (aged 9) was also at Cuboree as a participant. She had a great time and can be very cheeky, like me. So when I visited her at one of the activity sites during the day, she very sneakingly took my 2-way radio from me. I must admit that she was good at stealing the radio, in terms of I did not notice initially. It was radio that we used to communicate around the Cuboree site. When I noticed she did give it straight back.

However, one cheeky turn, can not go without another. So as I got to the dining hall for lunch that day I saw a friend of mine that worked in the Security at the site. I told him what happened and he asked, in a joking way, if I wanted security to go talk with her. Now this is an offer that I could not turn down…. Now, I know some of you are saying what a mean dad I am…. I would like to think I am a cheeky dad. So after accepting the offer and scoffing down a quick lunch we were off to her campsite, where she was having lunch.

On arrival I hid behind a tent as the security moved in. The security officer stopped at the dining fly and asked “is there an Anna Ovari here?” Anna was quick to turn around and answer. to which the security officer ask her in a firm voice to “come over here” as he lead her two metres away from the dining area. Here is how the conversation went with the security officer leading:

“Did you steal a 2-way radio?”
“I returned it straight away”
“Radios are an important part of the Cuboree equipment and that is stealing”
“I returned it”
“That does not matter, I can still throw you off the Cuboree site for stealing”

At this point Anna saw me hiding behind a tent and put her hands on her hips, as only a daughter can do, and gave me the dirtiest look… She knew I had told on her and was not happy about it. At about that point the security officer turned to me and asked “Is that enough dad?” At this point Anna’s Cub Scout pack were all in tears with laughter, including the leaders. Anna was not impressed, but I came out and said to her that I got her good. I did see her later in the day and she was fine, in fact she called it the EPIC prank and promised to get me back…. I need to look out. She also advised that Cuboree was not the place to get me back as I knew security.

The point of telling this story is to ask you how do you take things?
Do you flare up and get upset?
Can you have a laugh at yourself at times?

I know that out of my children, Anna would be the one to take the prank the best. The others may have got upset at the time and even for longer. However I knew that Anna would be able to have a laugh about it. So when you are faced with a prank or even someone not being pleasant to you, can you sit back and have a laugh or realise that maybe the other person has an issue? I encourage us all to not take things personally……


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