Time for a reality check?

When I’m passionate about something, I can go on and on and on and on and on for hours — just talking about that subject. Yet, I face two challenges most of the times.

  1. Am I talking at the right level? Or am I just assuming that everybody knows the basics of the topic I’m talking about? This is happening quite often in my training sessions — I always have this question in the back of my mind.
  2. Am I over simplifying things? Am I making wrong assumptions on the level of my interlocutor? Being a Chemist and all, it’s easy for me for example to use technical terms, but I generally avoid doing so — maybe a reminiscence of my teaching days.

So what’s the way out? Especially when you are working/talking with a group of people, that might be at different levels? Ask questions. Check if you are on the same page. Have some reality checks.

It sounds easy in theory, but with many groups it’s not just a walk in the park. It also depends on the cultural background, for example. I remember a training I had in the Middle East — and throughout a whole session my mind was going crazy — “Oh shit, this is so bad, they don’t interact at all, no responses to my questions, they aren’t getting anything out of this session etc.”. Yet, in the break, after the session was done with, I could not make them stop talking about the ways in which they will be implementing the things they’ve learned from my session.

My lesson from this? reality checks are always great — and this was a firm belief of mine. But I was usually looking at them rather single sided — as in I would try to see what my interlocutor was experiencing and passing that through my own filter. But that would leave the cultural context outside of the big picture and valuable data is lost in the process. So before panicking, next time, I will try to assess more than what is happening in my room at that particular moment.

And the same goes for 1 to 1 conversations - as everybody comes with such a different background!

I’d be glad to connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat — handle @BogdanLearns