Ask vs. Guess Culture Communications

May 29, 2015

This talk was presented in Detroit at self.conference 2015, in Berlin at eurucamp 2015, and in Chicago at Write/Speak/Code 2016.

Have you ever been told you’re “too direct,” or feel like you don’t understand what others want? Or on the other side, do you think others are often too confrontational? These are Ask vs Guess Culture differences. Ask folks believe it’s ok to ask anything, because it’s ok to say no, while Guess folks prioritize not imposing on others. It’s a culture clash that isn’t often recognized, yet causes quite a bit of tension and frustration. This talk will cover the nuances of these different communication styles, as well as strategies for bridging the gap. Gaining an understanding of these differences and learning specific tactics for a professional context will make you a drastically more effective communicator.

eurucamp slides:

RubyConf Portugal slides:

Write/Speak/Code slides:

self.conference slides:

Response to my talk, on Storify: RubyConf PortugalWrite/Speak/Codeeurucampself.conference.

This was the original ~9min lightning talk I gave at a company engineering offsite: