Deep understanding of the nuances of spoken English, body language, and other non-verbal cues does not come easily to the engineer. In fact, being totally honest – your engineer assumes you are saying exactly what you want, and isn’t even aware of the subtle hints that you drop on an hourly basis.
If you are going to continue to be subtle about suggesting what you might want from your engineer, then we have one solid piece of advice – QUIT WASTING YOUR BREATH!
There’s a reason companies spend so much effort defining the scope of any project. It’s so the damn engineer running the project understands and sticks to the basics about what’s actually needed in implementing the project.
Engineers have shiny object syndrome. They are focused on the path ahead, at least until some (any?) shiny object in the bushes starts them down an alternate path. This usually means trail breaking, because no one in their right mind would go here – except the engineer, who sees a problem in the bright shiny object that needs to be addressed NOW (like all good problems)!
Your critical objective at the start of any activity or project is to make sure that your instructions were clearly understood. Be attentive in listening as many words do NOT mean the same thing to the engineer as they do to you.
Insist upon the engineer repeating back to you what it is he thinks you want. Make him be very precise. Ask for a drawing or sketch prior to starting to build or buying materials for building anything. If it looks bad as a sketch, it will look worse when it actually appears as a real object in front of you!
So in summary, good communications to your engineer depends upon you being very precise in what you want, and in verifying your engineer’s understanding of that desire on your part.
What about good communications from your engineer you ask? What kind of gods or magicians do you think we are?
Your engineer hasn’t got a clue about what he wants. Human Wants start from emotional Needs, and your engineer has been in emotional denial for so long, he won’t allow himself to have any Needs. All he really wants any more is to make you happy, so that his life will be smooth sailing.
Questions from you such as, “What would make you happy?” usually result in blank stares, or, if you’re lucky a shrug and a grunted “I dunno”. If you haven’t spent any time helping your engineer get back in touch with his emotions, then you MUST understand that this answer is absolutely the truth!
He doesn’t know!
End of question!
Now, what were we talking about?