Look at their pattern and not yours

“Rhenn…what are you thinking? You have the strangest look on your face.” “I’m trying to make sense of things that may not make any sense at all.” “Things always make sense if you look at their patterns and not yours.” I understood what she meant. Too often, I tried to impose what I thought should be the order or pattern of things, rather than seeing what was. “That’s the engineer’s way of thinking,” Seliora went on. “When you design things, whether it’s a card reader for a loom or a design for fabric, you get in the habit of assuming that everyone designs the way you do, or that there’s just one designer, like the Nameless, that arranges everything.” “But people aren’t like that,” I said with a laugh. “You need to let your mind rest,” she said. “Sometimes that’s more useful than worrying it to death, especially when you’re as tired as you are.”

          – L.E. Modesitt Jr, Imager’s Intrigue

When working in any team the challenge is often to understand one another. We might feel very predictable ourselves but when looking at other people it might be hard sometime to understand why they don’t understand our way of thinking. If you work with engineer’s as above or any other homogeneous group it is very easy to start looking at the problem from only one direction. Explaining something to likeminded people is usually quite easy and it is efficient because you can move to what you feel is the most important part quickly. The challenge though is to manage to explain something to someone who has no knowledge at all of what you are doing. I have received many insights from trying to explain things to people with other ways of thinking, people with other patterns in their minds. It was at times quite frustrating trying to explain something that was obvious to me, and I did not understand many of the questions at first but they somehow got stuck in my mind and after a while opened up some new ways of thinking or new ways to look at the problem.