Three Biases in Communication

I can’t wait to tell you this story. So this crazy guy was driving in his Big Ol SUV and out of nowhere a….

Gripping story right?

Anytime we tell a story or relate a fact, three biases are at play:

  • My perception of the moment
  • My description/communication of the moment
  • Your perception (of my description of my perception) of the moment

The art of communication is to overcome all three of these biases at once, unless your goal isn’t to tell the exact truth.

Who wants the “truth” when they’re hanging out with friends? They want an awesome story. Play to the biases that favor a good tale.

Who wants a joke when they’re mobilizing 100 full time employees for the next six months? Facts will do.

But facts are interpreted by people differently, mostly depending on what they already know. As the delivered of the facts you know things they don’t. But you don’t always know what they know.

More important than sharing a fact well is understanding how it will be received. How do you do that?

Ask a question.

Before you share any result, ask a question. Adjust the message to where they are, not where you are.

…wait, have you heard this story before?

The world is defined by writers | Silicon Valley Data Scientist | Google