I was recently talking to a co-worker, and an esoteric subject became relevant. So before spouting out technical jargon, I thought it was important to determine if my co-worker knew anything about the subject.
Me: "Do you know what X is?"
(I wasn't expecting him to say yes, and the delay makes me suspicious)
Me: "Well, how about you tell me what you think it is just so we're on the same page"
Guy: "Actually, let's bring it back to blah blah blah" (diverting away from the question that he obviously had no answer to)
I've found myself in this situation a few times. I ask if they know what some esoteric term means, and they (different people on separate occasions) say yes. At first I believed them, but I'm beginning to suspect that my co-workers lie and pretend they know what I'm talking about, instead of just admitting that they don't know. Edit: Actually, I recall at least one instance at work where I've asked for an explanation and the person came clean that actually he didn't know.
My questions are
- Why do co-workers lie about knowing things? I'll always ask if they say a term I haven't heard before. I don't understand this mindset at all.
- How should you confront someone for lying about this?
- How do you introduce an esoteric concept to a problem at work, without assuming that the person you're speaking to doesn't know it, while avoiding this mess?