Leaders fill a gap.
It’s not always easy to explain what we know.
When I was employed, I saw many people (including my ex-bosses) yelling at other people, like “How come you don’t understand what I told you several times! You disappointed me!” In Japan, this kind of intimidation in workplace happens quite often.
One of other examples is the grammar of our own native language. We see what is right or wrong, but it’s not always easy to tell someone — for example, foreigners who learn our native language — why it is right or wrong.
Why is it so difficult? That’s mostly because of two reasons:
- We don’t have enough knowledge to describe what it is
- We don’t know why other people don’t (or can’t) understand what we know
The first reason is not rare. We often don’t know what we think we know. People often say, “Oh, that’s a common sense” — but, what is a common sense? Why is that a common sense? Why do we need to follow the common sense? If we can’t answer these questions, we don’t know enough to describe what it is.
And we almost always struggle with the second reason. We need to know what other people know (and don’t know) in order to explain the things they don’t know. Someone may say, “Oh these people are too stupid to understand this” — but in most cases, that’s not true. What actually happens here is that, the person who ought to explain is too immature (if not stupid) to gain insight into others and figure out the better way to have them understand.
All leaders need to have the ability to explain in a way that other people understand. The first step is to stop blaming others for not understanding what we explained. See ourselves and reflect. When it comes to communication, there is always something we can improve.