April 12, 2020

Inside your head


There’s a lot lost in translation – from what you thought you said/heard to what they thought they heard/said. That’s two kinds of trouble. Language is a lot less clear than you think, you make assumptions about what people know and you make leaps that only really make sense inside your head. Everyone hears everything slightly differently – even when they all hear the words exactly, some of them hear meanings that weren’t meant and make connections that weren’t intended.

Take ownership of that.

Slow down, explain your terms, assume less, talk about the why, show don’t tell, be candid, draw pictures, show them your workings-out. Don’t just ask them if they understood, ask them to explain things back.

Make them slow down too. Ask for explanations and examples, listen for understanding, mine for conflict.

Don’t expect to be right.

Skippy strategy: In both directions, take ownership of understanding.