I used to have this theory that the more credentials I have, the more letters behind my name or the more expansive my diversification of skills became, the better and more successful I would be as a business owner. However, in recent years, as my skills have evolved over fourteen years as a Massage Therapist, with plenty of experiences gained, I have come to learn that sometimes ‘Simple’ is the best approach. I am certainly not saying that knowledge and continuing education is a bad thing…It is actually a good thing; a very good thing, but for clients, my vast knowledge of my industry is simply overwhelming and can be intimidating and frightening! We are experts, with 10/10 knowledge while our clients are maybe at a 2. Yet on the outside, my cardboard shell is the same as someone else’s. Making yourself relateable and personable is much more appealing.
I was listening to the StoryBrand Podcast with Don Miller (one of my favorite authors) interviewing Lee Lefever (killer name!). He was discussing this very thought I had about overwhelming clients with knowledge, terms, and impressive lingo that will make them tune out pretty quick and venture into a boredom that rivals sitting through Seven Years in Tibet (Brad Pitt movie circa 1997…more like Seven Years in the Theater). He termed this “the Curse of Knowledge”… this was my confirmation that maybe I should stop putting off writing this post and just get to it!
Here is my take
As I watched my kids when they were younger demolish birthday gifts, like ravenous hyenas chasing a wounded gazelle, I couldn’t help but be drawn to their fascination and full attention to the box the gifts came in! This packaging, it’s sole purpose to contain within its cardboard walls, some new, bright, loud, or most fashionable toys, clothing or entertainment, was absolutely captivating.
We need to be the Box – plain and simple, yet with contents that can be life changing.
What do I mean by this…
We can look at this in a business context of becoming overwhelming to clients when we don’t allow the attractiveness of our simple language, explanations, and conversations to further the trust our clients have allowed. Once the relationship is established, then our “box” can be opened and the contents can begin to be shared. Our knowledge at that point, is extremely valuable as our clients have and will trust and continue to seek our services. We can also discuss how our verbiage plays a role in this trust and understanding, but I think that deserves its own business blog…
How can we use this in our personal approach??
Within my recent experiences and struggles I have been both the giver and receiver of someone trying to push the contents of their box, and although they (I) may have had good intentions in sharing or trying to help in various situations, the approach was overwhelming, hurtful, and relationships became strained and in disrepair. Sometimes what we need from others or what others need from us is…
Nothing complicated, no big extravagant expressions of overwhelming knowledge and overbearing depth. Someone to be real and genuine, even though there is a deep knowledge or experience behind the walls of their packaging. When that trust is there, when the understanding deepens, then healing and progress can begin to take place.
Some of the most meaningful conversations I’ve had over the last couple of years have come from incredibly knowledgeable individuals who have the experience dealing with situations like mine… however, they have also sat, listened, and asked what I wanted or needed. If I’m honest, some of the most frustrating discussions and conversations have come from incredibly knowledgeable individuals who have the experience dealing with situations like mine. The difference? They wanted to tell me how I needed to react, feel, experience and deal with my situation because their knowledge was extensive, and although that trust was there, it was unfortunately used to exert superiority and authority which became intimidating for me and left me feeling more anxious and depressed then before. Or simply put, they talk instead of hearing, they interject without completely listening. Listening to respond, not to understand…
The understanding that we are all dealing with something, and sometimes the best approach is simple, uncomplicated, genuine and authentic. Don’t allow the curse of knowledge to influence the potential you have of being able to help. Sometimes the simple six sides of a box are more appealing then the complexity of its contents.
I have many things to learn, and this is one that I am trying… through this blog, I am attempting to be that simple ear for those that need someone to understand. I don’t have all the answers and may not be able to completely understand, but an empathetic, listening and hearing ear I can offer. Text 7058682616