Have you ever been talking with a person and you feel like no matter what you say, they aren’t understanding you?
So why is it, in those moments of time that if the person is our boss, we have infinite amount of patience in trying to get our point across. But if the person is your significant other, you just roll your eyes and get angry?
The difference comes in how we view the other person and our expectations for them. Our significant other we assume should have done a Vulcan Mind meld with us and completely understood what we meant- even our shortcut language. But I digress..
If you are in a one-on-one situation with the person and you feel like they should be able to capture what you are saying, ask the person, “What about how I am explaining this is making it seem confusing?”
I find three things make us see the other person as clueless when really the problem may be with ourselves.
1. Making assumptions- when you assume information is known to the other person you have a tendency to leave out critical bits of information. Think of it like giving someone a map but with many of the roads missing and even the information to tell them what state you are in!
2. Using terms that are unknown to the other person-I find that half the time people in the same field at the same company use terms very differently. This “cross reading” in to what the other person means when they use the term often leads to confusion.
3. Starting too far in the conversation-when you jump into the conversation midpoint, it clearly aligns for you but for the other person is tantamount to playing soccer and then mid game switching to football without telling them. They suddenly find themselves on the field lost.
Once you ask the person what seems confusing, take 100% accountability for what they are saying to you. Don’t defend, block or roll your eyes. Instead, learn from what they say.