Being Considerate

I recently held a couple of client training sessions for a website I built using ExpressionEngine. I put a lot of thought and energy into anticipating their needs while building the site, and I spent just as much again when preparing their training materials.

The training sessions went really well – there were a couple of supporting e-mails, but the client hit the ground running and had no trouble working on their site. I'm not trying to toot my own horn – I'm just working my way to my point:

Effective Communication Requires Consideration

My wife teaches 5th grade and when she starts talking pedagogy my eyes glaze over and I go to my happy place. (I'm totally joking, sweetie. That's my thinking face.) _I am not cut out to be a teacher and my capacity as an instructor isn't why the training went well. _

What I am, though, is really considerate. Beyond good manners and letting traffic into my lane, I try to put myself in the shoes of others. What do they know, think and feel? I think this kind of empathy is crucial in not only better understanding others, but in communicating ideas (especially complex ones).

I don't always get this right. Sometimes I overestimate my audience and get too jargony, others I miss just how much they understand and explain something they already knew. This can leave me feeling or looking like a jackass, but that's okay – I just apologize (if necessary) and change my tact, whether in written or verbal exchanges.