Approaching a misunderstanding

2020-08-05

When someone misunderstands you, what should you do?

I’ve asked people that question in interviews, which is how I know there’s a wrong answer. What you should not do is just communicate your point of view to them extra hard, over and over, until they finally get what you’re saying. Yes, if you do that, it will probably eventually clear up the misunderstanding. But it will take a long time and annoy the bejesus out of the other person. It’s pushy. It implies that you don’t care about what they think, as long as they understand you.

What you should do instead is try to understand where the difference is coming from. What points do you disagree with them on? Can you get them to explain how they feel, and then say their position back to them? You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration and a lot of strain on your relationship.