Making things simple is a great way to help someone understand something that is complex. Especially in the areas of science, math and technology. Understanding the whole picture before being exposed to detail can be helpful.
Simplification is a great tool to keep us from being overwhelmed. Reducing things to a simpler form gives us time back in our day by not having to immerse ourselves into a depth of information about something that is too involved and would take too much of our time.
All of us oversimplify especially during conversation. The danger in oversimplifying occurs when we step over the boundary of explanation to emphasize a personal belief that is implied to be true.
There is no curiosity when a person oversimplifies something in conversation. The oversimplification becomes an assertion that appears so true that it discourages others to debate the topic. No matter how true or false the assertion might be. Chasing doubt into a cavern of silence never to be heard.
Oversimplification emphasizes clarity using hindsight without any regard for so many variants that make life much more complex. Such as the bias of a decision maker in their story, what information they were lacking, the consequences (both good and bad) different decisions may create, or the pressures received by those they colloborated with.
Urgency, emotions, fear, the propensity to either react or to delay acting, the level of detail a person is comfortable processing, or the degree of open mindedness to alternate options that don’t match. Of course, ego can also play a big roll in how things unfold. Past experiences can influence what people choose moving forward. The danger in overimplifying is in ignoring the possibility of the presence of human tendencies and imperfections that led to a different decision than one you agree with.
Our humanity contributes greatly to the fog of life that makes most decisions, as a leader, never easy to make. There are so many unknown dynamics that play a role both in the processes used to understand something better as well as when prioritizing the value of different options discovered.. The fog of life is different for each of us based on who we are, where we have been, who we are with, and what we now face. Muting history’s lessons. Giving us the opportunity to again make similar mistakes.
Monday morning quarterbacks enjoy their game because they are never asked to compete. Oversimplification becomes one of their favorite tools. Their conclusions never once go on a scorecard nor do they ever get to see the actual outcomes that their point of view creates. They, in essence, create fiction to entertain and be enjoyed.
Making leadership a skill to be admired. Knowing well that their imperfections will challenge the quality of their decisions. For no one will ever go “ten for ten” in anything.
Giving us the opportunity to oversimplify in ways that are advantageous to our own journey. To better understand as well as to brainstorm options not taken so that we may be better prepared for the future of our own lives as new challenges arise. Preparing us to face our humanity, in difficult situations, and is so difficult for us to see.