January 10, 2013 7 Comments
We all know a bunch of stuff. And when we formulate our ideas and words, and spill them forth into the world – we’re often surprised at the misunderstandings that occur.
I worked on the content that went into this blog post (about introversion/extroversion) for hours. Thought I had it nailed. Turned out that there were several revisions still awaiting me once I hit Publish, as people weren’t “seeing” what seemed clear to me.
If you’ve been mulling over an idea for any length of time, particularly in an area where you have some domain expertise, you have probably developed your thoughts up to the third or fourth level (without even recognizing it). But your readers? Most of them are coming in at the ground floor. They don’t have the surrounding knowledge, the metadata, that you and I simply assume.
Because we’ve become used to occupying our own minds, our own context. We’ve got the whole blueprint in our heads, and others are just glancing at one room.
One of my most valued resources is a group of smart people whom I invite to critique my ideas and writings. And when they do, sometimes I’m amazed….how did you come to that conclusion??….until I look with fresh eyes, and OOPS! – they’re seeing the words from a very different angle. Sure enough, I was stuck in my own context.
As for that blog post where I had to keep revising terms and graphics? It finally led to a follow-up blog post, where (I think) the presentation is finally pretty much clear and intuitive. Our ideas improve when they are “battle-tested” through different sets of eyes!
I always look forward to input from folks like Greg Hartle, Tom Martin, Lisa Petrilli, Jay Baer, Michele Price, Justin McCullough, Trisha Torrey, Chris Brogan, and many others – they sharpen and improve my thinking.
Do you have an unofficial (or even official!) “Board of Smarties” who can help you be clearer? It’s a great way to employ a network – and, who knows? – maybe their ideas will vastly improve yours!