When people say “interesting” what does that really mean?
You guessed it, “interesting” rarely means exactly that someone or something is truly interesting. Especially in business conversations this term can lead to some significant misunderstandings.
Depending on the context of the conversation someone may use to convey that:
- The job they are trying to get hired for is interesting because they have heard of the job and / or its needed skills and competencies for the first time.
- The person does not know what you are talking about and is not asking for more clarity because he does not want to feel embarrassed.
- The person does not want to admit that the concepts they are being subjected to are too complex to follow right away. Yet, the person does not request that more time be spent on training.
- The person they may refer to in a conversation is interesting because she/ he does not share the same values, beliefs, or is otherwise significantly different.
- The conversation they are in is not going as expected or is contradictory to that person’s beliefs, values, or opinion.
There you have it. The above situations can get you in significant trouble regardless which side you belong to. Next time you hear the term “interesting” in a conversation, please attempt to really listen what is being said. Ask for more clarity and do not let the opportunity pass you by avoiding major complications.
Is it still possible that people use the term for the right reasons and within the correct context? Absolutely, and you still need to listen really carefully as this means that you had better pay attention to whom or what this refers to. Those would be really interesting paying attention to.
I would love to hear your cases of folks beginning to misunderstand each other. As always, please drop your comments in the Comment field below this post.