My children always teach me so much.  I got back recently from a vacation with my family.  We were coming in for a landing on our 2.5 hour flight when my youngest son asked what was behind the wing.  It was a condensation cloud forming right behind the trailing edge of the wing.

So how do you explain condensation and vortices in terms that a four year old will understand?  You have to put it in terms that they already understand.  Describe the swirl that they see in a bath tub when you let the water out.  Now put some glitter in the still water and it really isn't that noticeable until you create a vortex which brings it all together.  It isn't exactly accurate, but at least it is something that they can relate to.

This got me to thinking about talking to stakeholders.  No, I am not suggesting you talk to them like four year olds.  You do need to talk to them in language that they understand though.  If you talk in technical jargon you might as well be explaining physics to a four year old.

The important thing to do is learn the language of the business.  It is your job to turn that business need into a technical architecture.  The bonus that is gained from this effort is a better understanding of why the company is going through the trouble of building the systems in the first place.  It also allows you to anticipate areas that could produce a competitive advantage from the implementation of a software system.

Soft skills are always our greatest asset as architects.  Take every chance you get to improve them.