Let's analyze a simple scenario: you are(or someone is) assigned to a new project(either in a company or as a independent contractor) there's a big chance that some parts of the project are harder to understand at first, however some people prefer not to ask 2, 3 or more times if they didn't get it the first time -- HUGE MISTAKE!! why is that a huge mistake?! well there is also a fat chance that you will waste time trying to figure some parts out and you might as well fail to deliver on time(happened to almost any person out there or will happen), however if you had ask the manager/client(s) for more details or simply say "I don't understand this and/or that" you could have win a lot of time and also gain trust(there are quite a few people that do appreciate when others admit that they've lost track of the conversation or something isn't clear -- why? because they can see on the spot that you are truly interested in doing a good job!) -- we all know that time is our biggest enemy(for example a day in my life should have at least 30 hours -- same for my clients, cheers!!).
The above example can be applied anywhere, from factory work to software development to rocket science, you name it...
Now I can see some managers going: some of my people always say "I got this", "I understand", "no need for more details", etc. but they actually don't... well yes, some people needs to be pushed from behind a bit, others can grow some balls over time and say "I haven't been concentrating enough to understand" or "sorry I've lost you at X point in the conversation, can you repeat the last part?" -- but these people are few, I won't make up bullshit percentage, I'm just talking from my past and present experience with people, however I can tell you that the number of people who are afraid to ask or simply don't give a damn is pretty big, maybe too big, but as one of my closest friend and client says
It is what it is, we just got to deal with it...I would recommend spending some time with this people(coworkers, friends, family) and help them bypass their issues in order to get the best out of them, do NOT under any circumstances call them names just because he/she didn't get something the first, second or even third time, there are a lot of reasons why he/she lost focus:
- personal problems -- most often
- was concentrating on a personal project -- rarely
- something distracted the attention along the conversation -- very often, we are surrounded by a lot of gadgets and blinking LED's that it's pretty easy to lose focus
- etc. you get the point...
I believe the keywords are: "take responsibility" and "have the guts to ask" try to master these two, only good things can come to you.
I also want to cover in a few words the "my boss/manager is an idiot, asks only dumb questions, etc., I don't get why he/she is a boss/manager and I'm just a employee" -- well, I can tell you that they grew some balls over time and as a friend of mine says "they grew thicker skin", if you want to succeed, you really must take everything as it is and step by step get to the end goal.
If you're reading this before January 1st 2011 you really need to get a break, spend some time with your family!!
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all you coders out there!!