Navigating through the different types of communicators inside and outside the company can be challenging.
For example, when speaking to our engineering group we use what I would term precise language. In this vernacular, a rectifier tube is radically different than an amplifier tube. A thick film resistor sounds and performs differently than its thin film counterpart. The language is precise and one needs to shift gears from normal everyday interpretative listening to that of the specific.
When we change gears and respond to a customer’s request for help everything changes. We interact with a wide range of folks from electrical engineers to nuclear physicists to marketing managers to car mechanics. Each with a different knowledge base.
One great example of having to interpret what a non-engineer is attempting to convey can pretty easily be demonstrated with a look at our How to find and fix hum section of the website. After years of chasing our tails when someone emphatically insists they have a ground loop hum, we finally wised up and published two different audio files. One file has a 60Hz hum and the other 120Hz. One is caused by proximity pickup, the other from a potential ground loop.
The difference between the two is night and day when it comes to fixing the problem.
It’s taken a number of years for me to learn when to switch on and off my precise language filter.
How many misunderstandings have occurred because the listener hasn’t yet figured out how to switch on and off their precise filter?
What you say and what you mean are often understood differently.