Dear Africana Woman,

It has come to my attention that I am not a great communicator. Sure I can string words together on a paper to make a comprehensive sentence. And yet as soon as I open my mouth everything I want to say gets lost in translation.

Take exhibit A. Gardener issues again. Remember how I did not have a gardener for more than a month. Then it started raining Gardeners and I blew through 3. The first I found sleeping on the job. The second would get pissant drunk as soon as he had money in his hands and would proceed to skip work for some days after. Now I have a young chap who is great at his work and yet has no sense of time. From the get go I said to him your hours are 7:30 – 17hrs. Dude rocks up repeatedly between 8:45 – 9:30. Forgive me, but here we say, Kwaliba? (Is there such a thing). If you know anything about tending to a garden you would know that the cooler hours being early morning and late afternoon are the best times to water the garden. Where as at high noon the water will evaporate. I have spoken to him repeatedly about his tardiness. He repents and swears to change. The said change lasts for a day then we are right back to the nonsense. Oh and I forgot to mention that he is the first to leave at 17hrs on the dot. Hmmm. As a leader one must ask yourself, how am I contributing to this situation? Have I given him enough tools to be here on time. One of the terms of agreement when we were negotiating that he come work here is that I provide a bicycle. I did. Which is why my heart throbs each time I see him ride into the yard at 9:40. I have been told that I am too nice. Had it been just a good five years ago that is not what anyone would have described me as. Nice. What would you do in this situation? How would you communicate to the young man that his behavior is unacceptable?

Exhibit B. I received a phone call today where an acquaintance was explaining to me a certain decision they had made in regards to a common group we belong to. This call was for 7minutes 26 seconds of which I spoke for about 1 minute. When I listened and heard the reasoning, I explained that I had a different experience and wondered why there was a discrepancy. However, that was the situation and I accepted the decision. Unfortunately, when I tried to speak I was met with interruptions and so much antagony. In the moment it took me back because if I had just been allowed to finish my sentence said acquaintance would have learned that I agree