How To Actually Make Simple Simple

Getting something simple takes enormous energy.

However, keeping something simple doesn’t take a lot of energy. And, there’s the rub.

Because, when something is ‘simple’ for you, you’ve usually forgotten how much time, energy, and effort you spent getting it simple in the first place – starting when you first tried to know, understand and master it.

And, because you’ve forgotten, it would be easy for you to assume that what is now simple and ‘obvious’ for you is also simple and obvious to everyone else.

This has the potential for major miscommunication, especially if you have to communicate the ‘simple’ thing you know to someone else. Here’s how it starts.

On the road to getting something simple there is usually a progression over time that moves from things being difficult for you until, ultimately, they become easier and more ‘obvious’.

By the time it’s ‘simple’, the way you view and use this knowledge, understanding, and ability in the world has become effortless for you.

Here’s where the potential for miscommunication comes in.

When you have to communicate a subject – that is now simple for you – to someone who HASN’T GOT IT SIMPLE YET, it would be easy for them to misunderstand you, leading to potential miscommunication.

Here’s why.

For you, it’s simple and for them, it’s not simple yet.

In other words, they aren’t as mature as you are in the understanding and knowledge of the subject and they don’t yet have the ability to APPROPRIATELY APPLY  that knowledge and understanding.

Now, none of this matters as long as you don’t have to communicate the knowledge that is ‘simple’ for you to someone else.

But, IF you do have to communicate it, then it’s very important for you to appropriately customize your communication to deal with the GAP between what is simple for you and what is not simple for them yet.

If you don’t customize your communication, and things don’t turn out the way you expected, there’s the possibility of you wanting to judge or blame, which sometimes sounds like this … “How could anyone screw that up? It’s so OBVIOUS!”

So, how do you avoid this? Just do 4 simple things.

1. The first step in customizing your communication is to think back to how much time, energy and effort it took for you to get it simple in the first place.


2. Slow down

3. Break down what you are communicating into smaller pieces for the other person

4. Check for their understanding at each step

It’s that simple.