It’s a simple question that changes everything.
And yet, we often shy away from using it rigorously.
We notice that the team member uses a vague statement to gloss over their lack of preparation. But we’re polite and let them get away with it.
Another team member might be struck by The Curse of Knowledge and uses language that most of the team don’t fully understand. But we let her get away with it because she’s the genius.
A third one might make a hand-wavy claim and we let him get away with it because “it’s just a thought”.
This helps no-one. It might feel easier in the moment but it slows everything down in the long run.
“What do you mean?” is a really simple question. When you use it rigorously (as opposed to ruthlessly) it benefits the whole team. When you use it to clarify (as opposed to finger-pointing) it removes misunderstanding.
Clarity is your responsibility.