Estimated read time: 2 minutes
This can’t be explained in 10 seconds. No elevator ride is long enough to give this justice.
You’ve probably heard these or variations of them before. Another favorite of mine is “Words can’t describe it.”
If words can’t, what can?
Sometimes we get seduced by believing that complexity is good. We mastered and understood a complex item, so we need to keep it complex to not diminish its intellectual value.
But as Albert Einstein once said: “You don’t understand it well enough if you can’t explain it simply.”
And explaining things simply helps people understand. And it actually establishes the storyteller as an expert: “Wow, that made sense. She explained that so well. I got it.”
And how do we know people got it? They can actually retell the content.
Perhaps this has happened in your household:
One spouse goes to the doctor or to get the car fixed.
The doctor or the car mechanic – depending on the case – explained the problem in detail and with lots of industry specific jargon. Most of it was easily forgotten by the patient/customer the second it was heard.
Then at home the spouse asks about the details – which were explained earlier – and all the other spouse gets is:
“I have to have surgery. There’s something wrong with my stomach.”
“The car needs a new engine because it’s broken.”
Some complex details just can’t be reshared by the non-expert listeners so we have to make it simpler.
Or maybe it’s that we get to explain it simply. Not everyone can do this, so helping people understand can build relationships.
There’s no reason to hide behind complexity – unless we have something to hide, which of course would be an entirely different discussion about authenticity and transparency.
Sharing information in a simple way helps us be and appear authentic and transparent. And yes, a lot of times simple means that content is fairly short and memorable.