**Note: this post is a follow-up to Talk smarter, not louder.**
Lest anyone think, based on yesterday’s post, that only the seeker of information carries the burden of finding a common language, I don’t believe that. The listener/answerer bears responsibility, too. The responsibility of understanding. The responsibility of providing relevant, useful information. The responsiblity of giving the answer in a language the asker will understand.
Remember this, however: you can only control your own actions. So, whether you’re the asker or the answerer, it is your job to understand and make yourself understood. Yes, the listener/answerer bears responsibility, but unless the listener/answer is YOU, you can’t do anything about it. If you focus on what the other person should be doing, you’ll likely end up in a heated round of finger-pointing.
If you’re doing the asking, make sure you get the information you’re seeking. Keep translating until you do; it’ll make things easier for you in the long run.
If you’re doing the answering, make sure you’ve given the right information. Giving the quick answer (see yesterday’s DVD example) may be the easy way today, but it could cost you a relationship (customer, friend, etc.) in the long run.