Did you ever ask someone that you considered an expert for advice and get the “readers digest” answer in response? Have you ever delivered the short version yourself?

It is sometimes difficult to take the time to give a full, useful answer to what we may consider a basic question when we have expert knowledge on a topic. This is because we are “cursed” with knowledge – we assume that the individual who is asking the question has a certain amount of knowledge about the topic already and there is no need to start from the beginning. Whereas, many times that is exactly where they want us to start. If we don’t, then they are hesitant to ask a “stupid” question, so they listen politely, thank us, and go ask someone else.

Solution? Before you begin answering, ask the individual how much she already knows about the topic and how much detail she would like.

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