Yesterday my friend Maria Gamb posted on Facebook “I’m wondering why people make things so incredibly complicated?” Good question! I’d also like to know the answer to that one. A bunch of people offered up their ideas: “So they can say it’s too hard or too difficult … so they don’t have to even try” or “For a sense of solid measurement – the harder it is, the better I am for getting it done.”
A while later, Maria offered an answer to her own query with “My insight into this is when others make something *that* difficult it’s their need to be perceived as important. Entertain it and one becomes an enabler. Stop it and one can maintain their peace. Keep it simple. Straight line to the end.”
Based on my experience, I have to agree with Maria’s analysis. A majority of project proposals and requests for information, even job descriptions I’ve read leave me thinking, “WHAT are they saying?” I consider myself pretty bright and I do not understand what they’re looking for. Can we get this in plain English, please?
Trying to sound as if you’re way more grandiose than the average bear usually makes you sound like a pompous, egotistical blowhard. And if you’re trying to get people to listen to you, that’s not good. Don’t buy into the belief that things needs to be convoluted or difficult. Have you seen some of the summaries and descriptions of experience people have posted on LinkedIn lately? Perfect examples of what we’re talking about. There is truth in Maria’s comment, “complicated is a smoke screen for insecurity.”
Get over yourself. The lesson here for you is, always keep it simple. Have a little fun! People have short attention spans (and they’re getting shorter all the time). Help your clients or other audiences understand the great information you have to convey by speaking (even if you’re writing) as if you are talking to a friend. Make it easy! That’s how you get the best results!