They don’t understand it like you do

It’s a common mistake that we all make as a leader, manager or influencer, either when making a sales pitch, trying to convert a sale, teach a team member a system or process or explain a new idea.

Once we delivered our message we assume and expect that the person or people listening understand it completely.

Although they acknowledge they get it and given you have articulated the message in the best possible way, the truth is they haven’t understood it at the same level that you understand it.

Your level of knowledge on a point your making or subject your talking about has generally come from a lot of background knowledge/experience that accumulated over a long period of time.

Most of the knowledge is now in your subconscious and comes naturally with minimal effort. Just like tying your shoes laces, you don’t even think about it, it just happens.
So, what seems like a simple task, idea or process to you will be completely foreign to the next person.

Two lessons to take from this.

  1. Don’t underestimate the knowledge you have, and the understanding of what you do.
  2. The person listening to you does not get it at the same level you do and most importantly don’t expect them to understand even though they say they ‘got it!’.

The way to combat this is to go back to it after a time period you think appropriate given the situation or sometimes it’s better to go back to it immediately if it’s critical.

If it’s a sales pitch or selling situation, check in with the prospect and give permission to ask questions on what’s not clear. Its human nature that most people won’t ask a question if its expected or assumed they should know the answer.

So, don’t fall into the trap thinking ‘I have explained it once, so they have now got it’ because they haven’t got it…probably like this message!

– Torrin (they don’t get it) Minutillo

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Torrin Minutillo

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