We all have to communicate: with our friends, our families, our co-workers, our clients. Communication in the digital age is more of an art than an exact science. After all, everyone thinks they’re doing it effectively.
Yet, more often than not, people miss the message. In fact, we’ve all experienced the frustration of thinking we’ve communicated effectively when in reality, no one’s getting it.
If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. Most businesses are suffering from a similar issue: the curse of knowledge. You forget what it’s like not to know what you know, and you don’t effectively bring others up to speed with what you know.
Your bank has been trying to sell more home equity lines of credit, but is struggling to get customers to bite. Sure, there have been a few, but you’re just not hitting the numbers you expected for the rate you’re offering.
To solve this problem, you offer incentives to your bankers for selling the product, advertise heavily. You see a slight increase but not a significant return. You press the staff more to upsell, and nothing works.
In this scenario, you’re assuming all of your customers know what a home equity line of credit is, how it can benefit them, and how competitive your rate is. Your communication isn’t effective because your communication isn’t meeting the desired recipient at their current level of knowledge and taking them to the point of understanding. You’ve effectively assumed that everyone knows what you know, and the curse of knowledge is the barrier between you and your audience.
If you want to break the curse, you need to ask yourself these key questions:
- What am I assuming my audience understands?
- Am I certain they understand those things?
- If I assume they don’t understand, what would I tell them to bring them to understanding?
- How can I say those things in a way that they’ll understand?
- Where can I deliver that message that they can best receive it?
We believe in effective communication, and we’d love to further support your pursuit of improving your own business’s communication. That’s why we’re giving away this free eBook to help. Get it here: Download our Communications Guide