Vertical vs Horizontal

Many times we need to explain a complicated concept to other users. And these users are most likely not as technically adept as we are. Chances are, this is why we found ourselves in a BIM/CAD support role.

However, too many times I have heard someone refer to this as “talking over their heads” and that the topic needs to be “dumbed down.”

I want to encourage everyone to rethink and rephrase if you are using these terms.

There’s more than just a smack of superiority and an implied insult when we say things like this. This is not how we build a team. This is not how we build a community. This is not how we get users to want to learn something new.

I’ve tried using the phrase “talking beside them” instead or “talking over their heads.” The idea is that we need to “shift” how we are talking about a technical topic to align it better with a user’s point of view.

I’m not sure that’s the best way to phrase it, but it has certainly forced me to try to not add any inherent “I’m better than you” phrasing.