Assumptions? Yes. Whenever we discuss an idea or a project many of us assume that the reader or listener has the same mental grasp as do we.
If, for instance, we discuss (present or negotiate) "amateur radio" most of us just assume the other person knows what we mean.
Let's use an illustration of a local government that you want to use your local EMCOMM unit, or to create one in that government. You know that the director of the local emergency management agency came from the sheriff department of an adjacent county. You also know that during his years in that county it had a RACES unit. So he should understand the amateur radio EMCOMM unit plan you have prepared. Right? Unfortunately, that may not be true.
Why? While he may know what it signifies, his "picture" of it may be very adverse, and you won't know until you check on it.
Two phrases we've heard used repeatedly in recent years regarding "amateurs radio" are "propeller hats" and "Disneyland tourists"; both being used in a derogatory sense. It was their way of saying their experience had been so colored from exposure to that type of person that they wanted nothing to do with "amateur radio".
More than one official has pointed out that the activities of those who led to those terms has definitely been adverse to the use of "amateur" radio" in government, and will continue to do so. Conversely, there are areas, sometimes just miles away, where "amateur radio" means "successful emergency communications".
The fact is, it is personal experience that presents the lasting mental image. Until you know that you are not fully informed.
Speaking to the mental images of "propeller hats", how do we overcome that? First, consider how it came about: possibly from some amateur(s) that showed up wearing a cap studded with badges, pins and a solar operated "fan", two hand-helds strapped to his belt, six badges on his shirt and a vest labeled in yellow with "Amateur Radio". Contrast that with what the official was most probably expecting: someone dressed like others in the agency.
Can we overcome that? It's not easy. The most likely way to do so is to provide a new, better and more significant image with which to replace the one that is not desired. That is NOT an easy process, but it can be done; but it may take years of personal effort and many 'seedlings planted along the way.'
In summary, to get the best understanding about your unit, be sure that no assumptions on critical meanings of terms stand in the way of the benefits sought to be provided. Essentially assume nothing, but verify, verify and verify.