Knowing your audience

Cards Against Humanity is a popular and fun game.  A similar game, that is also a great deal of fun, is Apples to Apples.  While the ideas behind these two games are different, the lesson they can teach you is the same: know your audience.

41164wOO6ZLWith Cards Against Humanity the idea is to be as inappropriate as possible.  With Apples to Apples, the general idea is to play a card that most closely relates to the one played by the person whose turn it is.  Both are pretty straight forward.  However, depending on who you are playing these games with, how to win can change.

While playing, it is a good idea to pay attention to how your fellow players are picking their Apples to Appleswinning matches as everyone will have a different theme they prefer.  With Cards Against Humanity, it is generally who has the most absurd and/or disgusting match, but it could also be the match that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that wins.  With Apples to Apples, a game can quickly change from a “what goes with what” to “who can have the most ridiculous matches.”  In order to be competitive, you must pay attention and follow the flow of the game.

This same idea plays out every day in the real world and in your professional life.  You talk to your co-workers very differently than you talk to your boss.  When a friendly co-worker asks for help, you can get away with sarcastic remark if you know that’s the kind of relationship you have.  With your boss, you would most likely skip the sarcastic remark, and would often be wise to do so.

When giving a presentation to fellow engineers, it is acceptable and expected to use a lot of detail and to use engineering terms.  When giving the same presentation to your boss, or high level managers, more generic terms and less detail is expected and appreciated.  In this case, going into such detail only serves to confuse your audience and they might stop listening.

Therefore it is crucial to know who your audience is and to cater your interaction with them accordingly.  This is not always a simple skill to learn.  Thankfully, there are games out there, like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, which offer a fun way to start learning this skill.

Have you played Cards Against Humanity?  Have you played Apples to Apples?  Are there other games out there that you feel teach this skill?  Please leave a comment below and/or share on Twitter.

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