You are an expert and when it comes to the area of your expertise you can spew forth information, ideas, actions, solutions with ease. You probably even get excited about it and maybe even start talking quickly. It’s an awesome feeling, you’re in your zone of excellence.
The challenge is that you may be overwhelming those around you who are not experts like you are – like potential clients.What makes your expertise valuable is that not everyone has it. There are concepts that are second nature to you that are mind blowing to others. When you’re an expert in something it can be easy to accidentally become like a firehose of information. For those who aren’t an expert, it can be so overwhelming that they can’t digest anything you say.
Be careful not to fire hose your clients with information.
The other day I was serving someone by coaching her on boundaries and we talked through how and where she could apply them, specifically in her struggling marriage. Boundaries is an area where I have some mastery, these concepts come very naturally to me but for my client these were foreign concepts. As I spoke, making suggestions, she was furiously scribbling down notes and looking more and more overwhelmed. I realized I was fire hosing her.
I had us both take a deep breath. I shifted to a conversation about how committed she is to her marriage and family. Then, slowly we talked through one simple concept in boundary negotiating. I broke it down into simple, bite sized steps. She took notes, we drew pictures. Everything was much calmer. The next time we had a session I checked in on things and we discussed a new strategy in boundary setting.
I had to shift to dripping information, so my client could slowly digest it.
Now, most people get this concept, many already apply it with existing clients.
Where I’ve noticed many people, myself included sometimes, still tend to accidentally be a fire hose is in their marketing, networking and public speaking. Make sure that you’re taking into account your expertise versus the level of knowledge of the average person, and speaking at a level, speed and quality that they can relate to. Aim to provide people with little nuggets of wisdom rather than aiming a firehose of knowledge at them.
Why You Should Be Like a Dripping Faucet