Should You Dumb It Down

Of all of the phrases I’ve encountered in my career, few frustrate me as a good deal as “dumb it down.” I usually hear it as a command (“This is technical, so are you able to dumb it down for our customers?”) or a protest (“I do not assume I must must dumb this down!”)

Both makes use of are offensive — and a clean signal that the speaker would not understand human communique. In my enjoy, the word is maximum not unusual among professionals and denizens of the company international’s C-level. It is not used by they all — or maybe most of them — but by using folks that set themselves on a plateau above others.

Years back, I changed into running on a e-newsletter with an accountant whose very own writing turned into as incomprehensible because the Internal Revenue Service Code. Yet he continually resisted my efforts and those of his group of workers to rework his words so his company’s clients would truly recognize them. He didn’t want to dumb matters down, because in his eyes, any simplification turned into an insult to his profession’s stature. As a end result, his high-quality suggest turned into not noted and wasted because his customers simply couldn’t grasp what he become advising.

When someone shows that some thing desires to be “dumbed down,” he or she is honestly insulting the target market for being much less informed or much less wise. The word demonstrates loss of empathy and admire for the customers, potentialities, or different stakeholders who are the target (and who were reputedly clever enough to pick out your corporation).

Simply put, if humans can not recognize what you are trying to say, they can not do what you want them to do. They can not learn what you think they ought to recognize. Communicating with them at their level of information is not “dumbing down,” it is being a type, effective communicator.