Those in supervisory roles often believe that complexity equates to intellect. Making something too simple shows a lack of intelligence. The reality is that it takes confidence to simplify. Einstein said that the “highest level of intelligence is SIMPLE.” Failure to simplify really shows a lack of confidence. We call this the Too Simple Syndrome.
Coach John Wooden often said, “The biggest mistake coaches make is they over-coach.” This is absolutely true for formulating arguments and presentations. The biggest mistake people make is trying to over-teach. Other people are not as expert as you on your subject, and they do not need to be. Avoid the Too Simple Syndrome, and show confidence in the simplicity.
A client of mine had the task of convincing some higher-ups of the need for an expensive, but necessary, software for his firm. The leaders who had to sign off on the purchase had little knowledge of the software or the process that the software would simplify. My client prepared and polished a presentation explaining the ins and outs of the software, and why it would greatly improve the efficiency and profitability of the firm.
Having been so diligent to ensure that every detail was carefully outlined and explained, my client was surprised and frustrated to find that many people asked questions and expressed doubts that were clearly covered in his presentation. He said to me, “These people just don’t listen. It’s so obvious that the firm needs this software, but they want to kill the project anyway.”
My client made the common mistake of assuming that everyone else is as expert as you on your area of expertise.