Speaking the Same Language: The Difference between What's Said and What's Heard
Early in my first career (in television), I worked with someone who excelled at telling me (and probably many others) that my work was “not right.” Yet, when I asked what was wrong, the person couldn’t tell me.
“What’s wrong with it,” I asked.
“It’s not what I expected.”
“But it’s exactly what was outlined in the brief and the storyboard.”
“But it’s not right.”
“In what way?”
“It came out different.”
“Not the same as I wanted.”
“What did you want?”
“Well, then, what would you change to make it what you want?”
“I don’t know.”
“Then how will I know what to do to make it what you want?”
“That’s your job to figure out.”
[sigh] So I took a guess, which was wrong, and went through the same conversation again.
It was only when I resigned from the project that the work – in its original version – was accepted. The people who managed the budget were unwilling to start over, knowing they were likely to live through a replay of the same interaction.
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