Counter-intuitive fact of the day: Experts are rarely the best teachers. It's called "the Curse of Knowledge
" and it's a significant obstacle to growth at law and other professional services firms.
Traditional mentoring--learn by watching what someone else does--is hobbled by the Curse of Knowledge. This is especially true for leaning how to generate business for your firm.
The Curse of Knowledge has two components. They are straightforward and well documented. And also largely ignored.
#1. Experts operate on intuition. That's why it is so easy for them. They don't have to think about what they are doing. Psychologist Richard Clark conducted in-depth interviews with a range of experts to elicit step-by-step instructions. He then observed them in action and found the step-by-step instructions left out 70 percent of the required steps.
That's right: detailed step-by-step instructions by experts contained less than 1 out of 3 steps needed to be successful.
The second component of the Curse of Knowledge explains #1.
#2. Experience actively undermines our ability to explain. Things that are obvious to the expert mentor are not obvious to the mentee. It's not an issue of ego or hubris, it's just that the expert has long forgotten what it is like to not know what they now know. They act intuitively.
Intuition is a good thing when performing complex tasks--except when you are trying to train someone else.
The two components of the Curse of Knowledge leave both the mentor and mentee frustrated. As a result, skills such as generating business are widely considered "black arts" for which some people are naturals. Alternatively, business development is seen as a highly technical skill.
Generating business for your professional services firm is neither. The implication is nearly anyone can do it.
The secret is perspective: being able to think like your Best Clients. Do this and it becomes easy to attract more of your Best Clients without feeling like you are selling.
This is exactly what seasoned rainmakers do. It's just so intuitive to them that they can't explain it to others.
Thinking like your Best Clients replaces intuition and skills with a perspective shared by both client and professional. When you think alike, it is easy to build trusted relationships. And, trusted relationships drive profitable business.
The fastest, most repeatable way to build trusted relationships is to Think Like Your Best Clients.
Schedule a short call to see if this approach will work for your firm.