When sharing ideas with others, we often find ourselves hurling towards the communication barrier known as idea pride.

Idea pride is the deep pleasure we derive from our own understanding of an idea, the gist of it and the minutiae alike.

On a surface level, pride is an indication that our idea matters to us—that we care about effectively sharing our idea—but a little pride can go a long way. Pride gets in the way of itself, and we begin to care so much about the nuances of our idea that we neglect the gist.

We hold an intricate understanding of an idea in our heads, and we are often driven by an urge to impart every detail of our understanding to others. This tendency to focus on ensuring that the other’s perception of an idea equates to our own stems directly from our idea pride.


Bogging ideas down

When we care so much about an idea, we are prone to micro-managing another person’s understanding of the idea. This happens because we already have an understanding of the idea’s core, and our interest is focused on the applications and nuances of the idea. We overwhelm people by showing them every single angle of the idea, illustrating it’s full potential and beauty.

We do not need every nuance of a painting explained for us to appreciate it.

True thought leaders cannot let pride get in the way of effective communication. It is ok if our message is not understood completely as we perceive it in our heads—the minutiae can wait. Focus on finding and communicating the core of an idea so as to set others off on their own expedition of discovery and understanding.

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The Goal of Sharing Ideas

Let them bend the idea—let them twist it in every which way. Let them cover up portions of the painting—let them add a whole new layer. The idea will only evolve and get stronger as each person adds their own unique twist.

We don’t need a million Mona Lisas; we already have one. We’d be better off with a thousand paintings that stem from the understanding and appreciation of Mona Lisa’s core message.

When communicating our ideas, we are paralyzed by the minutiae, and we overlook the importance of conveying the simple message of our idea’s core. Our pride gets in the way—we like our ideas a bit too much, and many of the trivial nuances, though interesting, should be omitted when communicating an idea. Beyond an idea’s core, we should not be overly concerned, hurt, or disappointed if the details are lost in translation.