"Does that make sense?"

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GeddyWrox
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"Does that make sense?"

Post by GeddyWrox »

I've been supervising this guy for 5 years now. Great guy, smart as heck. Reliable. But sometimes he has a hard time finding the right words to explain where his thoughts are at, and he asks "Does that make sense?" allllllll the time. It's not as much about the listener's understanding as much as him wondering if the words came out jumbled. But every time he asks it, it's like a little paper cut. It just bugs me. And I don't really know why.

Should I tell him to find another way to validate what he's saying was clear?

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Fat_Bulldog
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by Fat_Bulldog »

I might let that one slide.

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cardinalkarp
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by cardinalkarp »

Sounds like it would be best for you to make the adjustment.

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GeddyWrox
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by GeddyWrox »

I wonder if it bothers the users he deals with.

I wonder if I should even try to ask some of them.

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IMADreamer
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by IMADreamer »

I have a buddy that does the exact same thing. Sometimes I just completely ignore it and sometimes it's like nails on a chalkboard. I've chosen not to die on that hill as over all he's a great guy.

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CardsofSTL
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by CardsofSTL »

That's not the kind of thing I'd think a supervisor should try to correct.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

I say it all the time for multiple reasons:

1. It breaks up my speaking to give the other person a chance to interject any questions/clear up any confusion they may have.
2. It prevents me from having to talk for 5 minutes only to find out the person didn't understand something in the first 15 seconds and ipso facto didn't understand anything that was said which in turn requires circling back to 4 minutes and 45 seconds prior and restarting the conversation.
3. If I do it every minute or so, it keeps the other person engaged and allows for a more thorough step by step explanation that they are guaranteed to understand.
4. Letting other people talk, even if it's just to say yes, allows me to analyze how they're receiving a message that is otherwise not present in a 5 minute soliloquy ESPECIALLY over the phone.

Now, if the guy really doesn't understand if the words and the order in which they're coming out of his mouth make sense....idk what to say.

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GeddyWrox
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by GeddyWrox »

Yeah, I probably won't say anything, but I did find this blog which was interesting:


A far better question than, “Does that make sense?”

https://www.cuinsight.com/a-far-better- ... sense.html
I was attending a course about how to be a better facilitator when the instructor said something powerful.

“If you are explaining something to your attendees, focus on how well they are understanding, not how well you are teaching. Never make it about you. It is not your attendees’ job to validate how good a teacher you believe yourself to be.”

This really hit home with me, because one of the top phrases I advise financial professionals NOT to use is, “Does that make sense?”

It’s hard to say, “No”

Professionals who use this phrase tell me, “I’m checking to see if my client/customer understood what I just said.”

Ok. But how many people raise their hands and say “I’m a complete idiot. That makes no sense to me.”? Even asking that question implies that it should make sense. When you say, “Does that make sense?” the person to whom you are explaining something knows you are hoping for a, “Yes, you did a good job of explaining that.”
So what’s another question to use instead? “What are your thoughts” or “What are your thoughts about that.”

Here’s an example. I regularly explain the 5 step process I use to keep from getting triggered in difficult conversations and to get both parties focused on a shared goal. After I explained each step, I used to stop and ask, “Does that make sense?” I always got a head nod or a “yes.” Always.

But after sitting in that training class for facilitators, I tried a different approach. After explaining each step I asked, “What are your thoughts about that?” The quality of the answers was amazing. I got a much better sense of whether or not people were truly understanding and relating to my material. I got surprising questions. And people shared concerns about their ability to use the techniques which I could address.

“What are your thoughts?” was incredibly effective, because what I really wanted to know was NOT whether it made sense (and to pat myself on the back for doing a great job of explanation). I wanted to know what the other person took away from my explanation.

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GeddyWrox
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by GeddyWrox »

I think my problem with it is it can feel a little condescending. But that depends on the dynamic between the speaker and the listener.

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lukethedrifter
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Re: "Does that make sense?"

Post by lukethedrifter »

I find “what are your thoughts?” completely useless. People in my field aren’t going to share their thoughts. Or if they are, they tend to be oversharers and I don’t wanna hear from them anyway.

“Does that make sense?” on its face is better. Because that’s what you want to know. But if it’s not getting you the desired result, and I mean me when i say you, you need to figure out a better way to engage the audience.

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