How to Explain
Today I realize that why sometimes in the past, I have difficulties to explain something to other people. The reason that it is difficult to explain is because the things is very complicated and sometimes in the cyclic flow that very difficult to explain. Let say for a simple example “why employee needs to work hard”. Explaining this argument to a staff in office sometimes is difficult, especially if the staff or subordinate is more old/senior, having more experience (which sometimes inaccurate). In many examples, there is a case that the senior staff will argue that the office politics is very complicated and he could not do anything, except to involve.
Or another example, to tell your children to clean their toys, is also very difficult. Children might argue that cleaning his room is not needed because of he still need the toys. Or children might argue that as long as my daddy will clean all the stuff, he no longer needs to do it.
Explaining Behaviour vs Process
The above example is on how explanation of behaviour might be very difficult. The behaviour explanation is also important as a baseline for influencing. That’s why becoming a leader or celebrity is respectful in the society, because everybody knows that influencing other is difficult. In some cases people might hate leader (politician) or celebrity, because it promotes fallacy or bias. The dimensional of behaviour also complicated, as we use un-measureable parameter such as moral, ethics and at the fundamental level: feeling.
Explaining process seems easier than explaining behaviour. Let see the above example, on why employee need to work hard. Although the argument of the employee is “the salary is the same, no matter how hard you work”, but there is a hierarchical rules and order that makes the argument is invalid. For example, when employer said that the staff will have lower salary if not working hard, or if the employer changes the game by using merit based salary.
In my experience, sometimes I need to explain risk management concept to Bank Industry, the argument is simple because everything is regulated by central bank, there is a standard that used by the bank, and most of auditor in the bank coming from Big4. The most important aspects in bank is highly regulated, so people knows about which one is more important credit risk or product risk. Everything can be measured.
But in energy or mining industry, people perceived risk differently. In extracting industry, the biggest concern is safety, which is different paradigm than what banking industry sees. The safety risk in banking industry is perceived as low, compare with the human safety risk in exploration industry.
How to simplify the explanation
I made illustration above, on how we can simplify the problem from cyclic model, to become complex model and then become sequential model. Sequential model is easiest to be used, especially in scientific problem. For example in the cycle of poverty above, people might argue that the biggest problem in his life is low income, other people would said that the biggest problem is low investment, and some people might argue it was cyclic and cannot be solved. That’s why, some people even believe, if he was born poor, he will poor for the rest of his life.
Explaining something in cyclic might be very difficult. Just like explain the political situation in a country. Some people might use complexity model to explain problem. For example in a country, the relation can be between government vs people, on the basis of election. Or even it can be explained in simple flowchart which the purpose is to try solving in scientific method.
Which model is the best?
Well, in my opinion there is no the best model. In teaching about philosophy of life, cycle circle is the best. Which can explain that people keep poor and education is the only chance to break the vicious circle of poverty. In explaining about risk management, to avoid the problem or risk that might arise that we did not know the real situation, or we over simplify the problem, we can use complex problem. In scientific problem solving, we can use simplify sequential with term and condition applied.
For me, the advantage of the model is simply:
- to remind me that life is complicated, sometimes we have a choice but in most cases the best that we can do is be patience and grateful
- to remind me that becoming scientist does not mean we will know all of the answer, but it just simply to re-framing the problem, to see the problem in different and hopefully better perspective.