"WHAT HAPPENED!! We spoke about this. I thought you knew what to do," screamed Andrew. Their biggest customer was very upset at the way the problem was handled. Andrew had delegated to Stephen and, at the time, he was very proud of being able to delegate such an issue. Stephen did what he thought was right, but... Stephen had not handled the situation the way Andrew would. Andrew thought Stephen was on a different planet. Andrew's perception was It's just common sense! Although a familiar phrase, it's frequently used out of context. The term common sense is often used when comparing someone else's knowledge to our own.

Think about a reaction that you may have had when you delegated a task and the outcome didn't meet your expectation. A lot of time wasting happens. The issues costs you time and energy when you had to complete the task yourself or re-train the individual to do it the right way. We often attribute certain problems to the lack of knowledge that we feel the other person "should" have possessed. How do you respond when you discover that a person doesn't possess the knowledge or simply doesn't see the situation in the same way you do. You probably think, "Well it's just common sense to do this" or "They should already know that!" And that is what happened with Andrew. He assumed Stephen knew what he wanted, but Stephen had a very different perception.

More than 60% of all problems we see within the workplace and within relationships are a direct result of faulty communication. Failure to identify or confirm with the other person exactly what has been understood can dramatically affect understanding and outcomes. Assuming someone understands, when they do not, leads to problems and is time wasting. The phrase, common sense is actually an oxymoron; a combination of contradictory words. "Jumbo shrimp," a "small crowd," an "exact estimate," "constructive criticism" or the saying, "act naturally," are some common oxymorons used today.

Look at the phrase common sense. According to the dictionary, Common suggests something familiar or general. Senseimplies conscious awareness or the ability to reach intelligent conclusions refined by experience, training and maturity.

common sense is based on your own experiences, education, culture and environment. Your beliefs, knowledge and skills have been learned and developed over time. So, what you think people know or should know, and what they actually know are often entirely different. Yet, we sometimes believe that someone else's level of knowledge or perception should be the same as our own!

What is common sense to you or what might be an obvious solution or action to take in a situation can appear very different to someone else. Think about how much time you've invested in developing a certain skill or learning about your product, service, or industry. We take this knowledge for granted -- sometimes expecting others to be familiar with this knowledge, even though they have never been exposed to it. Eliminating the common sense trap will prevent you from making faulty assumptions that cause breakdowns in communication or act as a barrier to creating desired results. Once this knowledge gap has been closed, you will experience fewer problems, be more aware of miscommunication and recognize opportunities for developing your people.

AND the end results is that you will create time for yourself - time to spend on the things that are really important in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Erwin is a Time Creation Expert and Time Coach. Michael has lots of free time management resources at his website. Watch free time management videos You can find more time management articles and time management tips at time-management-central.net.