It’s a phrase that’s been uttered by politicians and medical experts repeatedly over the last nine weeks in relation to community behaviour and our response to COVID-19.

“Use common sense”, they tell us.

“It’s basic common sense”, they say.

Every time I hear it, I cringe.

Why?

Because common sense is not common.

What’s common sense to you may not be common sense to me.

No one thinks exactly like you. No one.

Different people have different backgrounds, life experiences, truths and beliefs that have shaped who they are today.

Even people you’ve known for years – close friends, family or colleagues you’re aligned with and get along well with – don’t have the exact same thought process as you.

That’s why it’s so important to spell out what we mean when we communicate. We need to be clear, simple and direct.

We should never assume people will understand our vague explanations or generic statements.

There’s no such thing as common sense – it’s not common to anyone but you.

❓ When have you assumed something was ‘common sense’ only to realise you needed to spell your instructions out?

#communication #leadership #softskills #softisthenewhard

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Leah Mether helps people get out of their own way with the development of soft skills (which are really hard). She is a speaker, trainer, facilitator and mentor.