They both assumed to know, yet neither had any idea how wrong they both were. We all tend to communicate in faster ways than we can think. We use words to express thoughts, but don't always realize the impact of those words on the receiver of them. Neither are we aware how someone else may misinterpret our words due to our implied context and even bias. We know and experienced more than we can speak, and listeners will fill in the gaps using their own experience.

As listeners, we think to know what the other is saying, and we can be right if we're talking from a shared context. But if the shared and implied context is not identical, we may not understand what is being communicated to us at all. And this happens a lot when experts from different domains communicate, such as in business and IT. IT professionals are not the same as other professions, and vice versa.

To check this reality, try to explain, to a 10-year-old, what you do for a living. And see how easy it is to explain in words that are understood.

Now imagine yourself, with decades of IT experience, to interpret the words of an expert from another work field. Are they really saying all that needs to be said, as anyone could to an 10-year-old? Did you get lost in the words, or did you fill in the gaps with your own assumptions and interpretations?

The real question is, do you even check back with this expert what you think you understood, in a way the expert can understand? Fact oriented modeling will help. It can be a hard lesson to learn, but it teaches you both to communicate in a way, both of you can validate and understand.

they both assumed


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