Influence people

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mindblind

Why does every management consultant want executives to become "storytellers?" Why does every grammarian want businesspeople to "write like you're having a conversation?"

Mindblindness.

Also known as the "curse of knowledge," mindblindness grips you when you know so much about a subject, you can't see it through the eyes of anyone less informed.

When you're mindblind—when can't imagine life for those who don't know what you know—you can't communicate why or how others should follow your directives; and you can't write (or speak) with clarity or concision.

Mindblindness produces not only unrealistic expectations ("We always delight our customers!"), but blame ("You slackers, you disappointed our customers!").

Mindblindness is a primary reason leaders fail, and why so much business writing stinks.

It never occurs to the mindblind that others aren't up on the latest jargon and grasp the steps too obvious to mention. So they don't bother to explain the jargon, spell out their logic, or supply details.

Philosophers call extreme mindblindness "solipsism," the belief that nothing exists outside your mind.

Bertrand Russell said that, although it could be true, solipsism should be rejected because it's easier to believe the external worldincluding other people's mindsexists.

“As against solipsism it is to be said, in the first place, that it is psychologically impossible to believe, and is rejected in fact even by those who mean to accept it," Russell said. 

"I once received a letter from an eminent logician, Mrs. Christine Ladd-Franklin, saying that she was a solipsist, and was surprised that there were no others. Coming from a logician and a solipsist, her surprise surprised me.”

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