A complete sentence is not always a complete thought and therein lies the problem. For example, if there is a conversation around a job and someone says, “she’s not technical.” That is a complete sentence, but not a complete thought. What does that mean in the context of the position? Comments like, he doesn’t have enough experience, or her personality is not right need to be followed by how that impacts job performance. “Say more about that,” is a great way to not let a discussion end abruptly. Sadly, conversations get shutdown before a true discussion starts or assumptions aren’t challenged. Someone call me once in a panic, “You have to help me, I have to get certified as soon as possible.” I was known as the person who gets people certified, the manager told the employee you need to be certified before you can be promoted. I could have stopped there and started the employee on certification, but, I didn’t. I simply said, say more about that. It turned out, the employee identified the wrong certification, not the one I was associated with and had also misinterpreted what the manager said.
Then there is the flip side. We tend to drill down and ask questions where it is kind of inappropriate – ish. I had a discussion with a former roommate; we laughed because in our 20’s we had no awareness of digestive issues we now have in our 60’s. Each of us, have what may be seen as severe dietary restrictions. When we say we’re not hungry it means we will have a bad gastro-intestinal issue if we consume what is being offered. Trust us on this one. If you are anything like either of us, you know. Alas, we get grilled, “oh just tell me what you eat so I can fix.” At restaurants we hear, “I’m sure they can make something for you. “ When we say, that’s ok, leave it. For me, onions, apples, garlic, avocados, silken tofu, I can’t eat them. Basically I have an app on my phone to check foods. We know you want to be a good host; however, trust us. We’re alright, let us keep our dignity. But, back to the point.
There is a time to probe and a time to leave it alone. Typically, if it is personal, you may want to leave it. This week, notice the difference between the two situations. Consider when you hear a sentence without the logic, the use of, “say more about that.”