The Communicating Engineer

Deep understanding of the nuances of spoken English, body language, and other non-verbal cues does not come easily to the engineer.

While studying, he was taught to say exactly what he thought, clearly and without equivocation.

Commonly used softening phrases like “I heard somewhere that…”, or “I saw on a TV show that…” that provide the possibility of a graceful exit for the person about to say something in a group that might be contentious were ridiculed in engineering school. Deep emotional scars resulted in those who actually tried to connect with the world around them in anything less than an “I know what’s best” fashion!

First year engineering professors are seemingly encouraged to bellow “Mr. Jones, I am only interested in what YOU KNOW!” as often as possible to scare away the faint of heart – those who actually care about how others see them rather than dealing in facts.

Another key communication tool learned in university was “never repeat yourself”. A point, once made in any course, only needs to be referenced in any future conversation. You’ll see this many times in your relationship.

He’ll tell you when you first try a new recipe if he thinks it tastes truly wonderful, or if a new outfit makes you look terrific. After that, you should already know what he thinks about the recipe or dress. Why should he repeat himself?

Any emotional content to a question asked in class was a character fault. Think about the average engineering professor who liked engineering SOOOO much that he stayed in school for an additional 3 to 5 years to specialize in something even more obscure than the general engineering studies. What must that person be like? Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory comes to mind!

How can you help develop better communication skills in your engineer?

First, as always, your engineer needs to see the problem before he can engage in addressing it. For that you need to tell him about how his inability to communicate is impacting his life and his career. You must do this in 15 words or less, before some shiny object distracts his attention and …

Good luck!

Should you find something that actually works to get him to want to change in this area, let us know below! Hundreds of thousands of people will be eternally grateful, and the keys to the universe will be yours!

As always, you should be grateful for your engineer. Every one of your friends has to worry about what their spouse really means when he says something. You don’t have their problem, now do you?

Finally, as always, be thankful that you didn’t marry an accountant. No matter how bad it might be, your engineer at least has a sense of humor. Smile, and enjoy another day full of wonder.

You are welcome!