All of us have encountered gaps in instructions. We hear or read a lengthy list of things that should be done in various circumstances and although we are nodding in agreement there may be a serious question in the back of our mind: "How do I do that?"
We sense that the person giving the instructions regards that part of the job as obvious but it sure isn't obvious to us. Technical or people skills may be lacking. So too is self-confidence.
We have entered the gap.
This brings three important points:
- When we are giving guidance, we need to step past our expertise and search for the areas that are likely to make people nervous.
- When we are in the gap, we need to press our "dumb"questions until we have a clear view of how to proceed.
- We then need to open a channel to the expert or seasoned advisor so we can ask follow-up questions when what we thought we knew doesn't work out. [You know how often this happens, don't you?]