The Curse of Knowledge

As an entrepreneur, deep knowledge about your product or service is obviously crucial. However, the curse of knowledge may cause you to forget that your customer might not be as well-versed in your business’s intricacies as you are. Further, your understanding of every technical detail may blind you to what your customer truly needs or wants.

To counter this, take a step back and try to see things from your customers’ perspective. Remember, no question is too simple. Communicate in a language your customers understand and avoid jargon that may confuse them. Ensure that you answer their queries and outline your product’s benefits (not features!) in a way they can relate to.

The curse of knowledge also extends to our employees and partners. It’s easy to assume they understand your thoughts and plans because you have spent hours pondering over them. However, remember that they have not been privy to your internal thought process. Encourage clear, regular communication within your team to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Switching gears to parenting, the curse of knowledge manifests in more subtle ways. As parents, we often forget what it’s like to be a child, to see the world through a lens of curiosity and innocence. We make the mistake of expecting our children to comprehend situations or emotions the same way we adults do.

Each child is also unique, often demanding a different parenting style. Acknowledging the curse of knowledge with regard to our approach to our children is the first step towards adapting the way we communicate with our children.

To combat this, practice empathy. Try to remember how you felt as a child in similar situations. Break down complex situations or emotions into simpler, more relatable scenarios that a child could understand. Don’t assumed that what worked for your other children works for this one too. It’s an ongoing learning process we need to keep fine-tuning.

Whether you’re managing a team, nurturing a child, or promoting a product, remember: the people you’re reaching out to don’t know what you know. And that’s okay. Bridge that knowledge gap with understanding, patience, and simplicity.

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