Stupid Smart

My sister has been told that she makes her staff feel stupid.

She wondered why and finally figured out the reason.

They feel stupid because she treats them like they are smart.  Instead of just answering their questions, she explains to them the thinking behind the answer, so they will understand more.  That’s a family thing for us — we want to know the concepts, so we understand.

Some of her people like that, but some just get baffled, wanting a simple answer, and they assume that she is trying to make them feel stupid.

Imagine that: treat people like they are smart enough to understand, and some feel like you are trying to make them feel stupid because they have no interest in understanding. 

Should we just assume that they are too stupid to understand, and let them feel normal, or is there some sort of code we can look for that separates concept formers from keystroke people (those who just want to know what button to push, not why) and then take responsibility for other people’s level of engagement?

Is the only way to be stupid and satisfied for other people to be smart enough to recognize and honor our own stupidity?

Do we really have to be smart enough to never challenge the stupid so they won’t complain that we made them feel stupid?

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