There’s a very apt saying in IT that, “Assumption is the mother of all ****ups!” (Replace **** with “stuff” or a stronger 4-letter word of your choice!)
The same holds true for our conversations. Often, we leave massive pieces of the conversation out entirely, because we’ve made assumptions about the other persons. Assumptions about what they are thinking; assumptions about their motivations, assumptions about what would and would not upset them; and so on. And then we wonder why our conversations don’t work!
Heather Grace posts an excellent example in the IITP Techblog here. I encourage you to read it.
Her concise and relatable example illustrates points made at greater length in the work of Chris Argyris and in the book Crucial Conversations – both of which have heavily influenced my own thinking and actions when it comes to People Skills.