It is insulting to underestimate someone. On the contrary though, it is also insulting to overestimate someone. When working with and/or directing a group of people, I’ve learned that I’ve got to learn to walk on the middle ground in between.
Growing up, I was told to never underestimate anyone. I took this advice to narrow-mindedly as I created projects and wrote out the descriptions and directions. After running my project plan through to get reviewed and edited, I found that I had a long way to go. My project plan was but a mere skeletal draft of the final product. No matter how simple a task, I should never assume that the person knows how to do anything. Furthermore, descriptions and directions should be detailed to prevent any confusion or miscommunication. I thought back to how I feel when I am given an assignment and do not have all the fine details to deliver to my fullest potential. From memory, I recall being extremely frustrated.
The mistake I made was creating the projects without seeing it from the receiving side. I assumed that they would know what to do with understated direction because the task was simple to me. Although I have held multiple job positions before, this was the first time that I had to write up a project. Though this experience, I realized that my perspective of not underestimating people was only half of the mission. The missing half was that I should not overestimate people either.