It’s obvious in retrospect, but I found a distinction between low-friction communication and high-friction communication.
By low-friction, I mean *person A* doesn’t have to work that hard for *person B* to get a point.
I find low friction scenarios are often cases where *person B* starts with the mind-set “how might that be true” and they help *person A* tease out, or make their point.
The starting point is collaboration — two people working to understand the message.
I find high-friction scenarios are often cases where *person B* starts with the mind-set “let me tell you how you’re wrong.”
It’s really easy among a bunch of engineers to rip ideas apart.
The trick I found is to first ask, “how might that be true?”
This gets over the potential hump that maybe while the delivery was off, there was merit in the message (or a concept needs help to be teased out) and it certainly builds more rapport than starting off as a devil’s advocate.
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