I vividly recall being the kid with a lot of follow-up questions. I think I may be the reason my grandmother had little tolerance for my quick rebuttals. I had such a passionate belief that asking for clarification was the way to prove I was listening. Grandmother didn’t quite see it that way. Aside from the cautionary reminder not to talk back, her encouragement was more about wanting me to know when I needed to “figure it out” and when clarification was necessary.
As a result, I learned that when a person gives you information, it’s just as much your responsibility to learn more as it is theirs to be clear… but expecting folks to be clear is unrealistic. When we are presented with an opportunity, expect to have to work for it. Don’t be afraid to go in the bathroom stall and Google or take the time to figure what the right questions to ask might be. It always makes me feel good when I thoughtfully pursue clarification and the person responds with “that’s a great question” or “no one has ever asked that.”
Do the work it takes to be great!