TGA Foundations 3: Rocky Road

Nov 30, 2022 | TGA Foundations

Welcome to Part 3 of The Guardian Academy (TGA) Foundations. Unfortunately, if you were lured into reading this article thinking it would be about Rocky Road ice cream, we will break the news early, sorry it’s not. Since you’re here though why not stay and read about some principles that could help improve your ability to build relationships, make sales, or anything else that has a human interaction?

This article will cover the answer to the question “why don’t they understand what I want them to do?” or any version of that you can think of.

If you missed part 2 of TGA Foundations- have a read through that article, watch the video, and then complete your 6 word update exercise found inside the article before moving onto this Foundation.

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Table of Contents

    The Rocky Road From Action To Intention

    This was a dissertation by Stanford student, Newton, Elizabeth Louise in 1990. (This article is not able to be shared but you are free to try and find it on your own and we do encourage you to if you want to read more about the original experiment.).

    Within TGA the concepts we focus on are: Rocky Road and “Tap, Tap, Tap.”

    The phrase “tap, tap, tap” comes from the keystone study in this dissertation.

    The experiment was run thousands of times and replicated over time, but the original consisted of this situation:

    What if I sat you across a desk from your significant other and had you tap your favorite song on the table. What would the probability that your significant other would be able to guess the song?

    People thought 50-60% chance of getting it right before they did the experiment. Then they were asked what the probability was after doing it & they got to see the reactions of the significant other- 35-40%.

    Actual- Just under 1.5-2% of the time.

    What does this mean?

    1. We grossly overestimate our ability to communicate.
    2. Even after the fact, we grossly overestimate how efficiently we have already communicated.

    “Accompaniments” Base Knowledge Disconnect

    There are accompaniments (musical term-things like the beat, instrumentals, rhythm) that people assume other people have… Except they don’t. When we talk about things that we are interested in (like Crypto, Finance, etc.) we have accompaniments in our head that others may not. Try explaining what NFTs are to someone 70+ years old who uses the internet less than 1x a month.

    The point is we may be missing context and they may be missing context, both are equally probable.

    Context Is Important

    We must strive not to assume that others have the same base knowledge unless it’s been explicitly stated.


    You might say “In order for this conversation to make sense you’ll need to have a PhD in Chemistry.” This will most likely cover the base knowledge and shared language necessary to follow the conversation effectively.

    This is part of the reason why TGA is tiered. As you climb the tiers, in theory if you do the work, you are developing some of the same base knowledge so that we can communicate more effectively as we go along.

    What’s next?

    Leave the loop open and reflect.

    Share Your 6WU: Wisdom Comes From Multiple Perspectives

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    DISCLAIMER: These articles are for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as financial advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any sort of security or investment. Consult with a professional financial adviser before making any financial decisions. Investing in general and options trading especially is risky and has the potential for one to lose most or all of their initial investment.