Sunday, 27 January 2013
Sometimes in responding to a question you are stretched almost beyond belief.... Coming from a profession where you are taught that the answer to a question almost always starts with "it depends" and you need to state your assumptions, as you cannot rely on the possibility that the audience will know what you mean, it can be equally frustrating for those who ask the question as for those who answer it.
For example in trying to select someone to perform a service where we do not have access to their processes or assumptions however we are providing information, responses to questions, documents and trust. I fall back on explaining the responsibilities of the two parties so that we start with understanding the responsibilities which will be stated in a report and in the contract.
The responsibilities which are identified will be one of the points which will assist our party in understanding the scope of the agreement which they are entering into with another as well as the outcome of the contract. Using a public source of information, where the responsibilities of each party is laid out, I copy the information and include it in an extract. The responsibilities will be read and partially understood. I know that with time, there can be greater understanding or there may be less. Knowing this, I can aim for some of the basic areas and expectations, advise as to our position so that we can start to understand the state of the information which we are providing. I can guess at the possibilities of the other party's focus, the possibilities of where they will request additional information however sometimes I have to let go and accept the concept of materiality.
Sometimes it is easier to be formal in the communication of infomation than it is to be convincing. I have a duty of care to check that the information which I provide is materially correct. We can disagree on the value of materiality. Sometimes we may even disagree on the qualitative aspects of materiality. Also I have to rely on your ability as a rational human being to understand the information that is being presented. I am not sure that you know or suspect that I am going to rely on that.
copyright: Jennifer Bailey