The “Completely Confused” Communication Strategy

Several well written articles have been published about what it takes to be a Business Analyst (BA). This one is an example. In most of these articles, communication is mentioned in a general sense, explaining that the BA must be a people person, and speak to people in a casual and relatable fashion in order to gain specific and technical knowledge from them.

Discussion

I agree with all of that. However, I’d like to discuss what I do when people have information that I need, but are engaged in some resistant behavior, seem unwilling to share what they know, and/or display signs that they feel threatened. At these times, I sometimes employ what I call the “Completely Confused” communication strategy. This communication strategy piggybacks on the idea that a BA should always go into every project with an open mind, assuming nothing, and not being an expert in anything.

Please …

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Believing without evidence is always morally wrong

Strangely enough, shortly after I published the immediately preceding blog post, I found this article posted on Reddit. The title above belongs to the below article.


You have probably never heard of William Kingdon Clifford. He is not in the pantheon of great philosophers – perhaps because his life was cut short at the age of 33 – but I cannot think of anyone whose ideas are more relevant for our interconnected, AI-driven, digital age. This might seem strange given that we are talking about a Victorian Briton whose most famous philosophical work is an essay nearly 150 years ago. However, reality has caught up with Clifford. His once seemingly exaggerated claim that ‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence’ is no longer hyperbole but a technical reality.

In ‘The Ethics of Belief’ (1877), Clifford gives three arguments as to why …

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