Recently I was tasked with coaching an discussing with colleagues about ways of simplifying our conversations with our customers. Now we know from customer surveys they want us to be experts with what we do but they equally want us to realise that they may not be and therefore in an un-patronising way want us to simplify our conversations at times.
Now some staff will not and I know getting people to change is difficult unless they get to see the impact and the effectiveness and efficiencies of what that change can make so I thought I would lead by example. I was trying to think of an exercise for a team meeting that would best suite my point and was struggling at first until I got talking to a young relative of mine who is only 7.
Kids are great to coach and learn and simplify things as they have no preconceived barriers like use adults do and a no one tries harder attitude to learning which is normally a cornerstone of most companies purpose statements.
Anyway she was looking at a picture of the pyramids and I started explaining the history and complexities of the pyramids to her to which she replied “so basically they are big yellow triangles if I drew them”.
I laughed and tried to then explain it was a bit more complicated than that then laughed again and thought in its most basic to simplify it she is right. If we were playing pictionary and she drew a big yellow triangle I would probably get that it was the pyramids. What I could do is take even longer and draw it exactly and still get to the same point as the little girl but only quicker and you wouldn’t lose my attention or see me get bored as quick.
So the exercise I did was to put people in pairs with pictures on cards of famous landmarks and the other had to describe in it’s most basic without using geographical information, and giving like a full Wikipedia type explanation, without using any part of the name and so on and just like a system make their own and really think and cut out the waste and try and get it done within as little amount of questions as possible.
This did help the group to realise you can really simplify things down it doesn’t always have to be so complicated.
Think like the little girl remove your barriers and simplify it’s the least we can do.