Daily Archives: April 25, 2010

Difficult Topic? Explain it to a Child.

Adding a new perspective is something I do in coaching all the time. Sometimes you can understand your life, a new idea, someone else’s idea, by using a different perspective. Standing in another (mental) place to look at the problem. Now I wanted to explain something difficult for a client. The library is my favorite place to do research. On my way in, a coyote trotted by. Ah, life in the desert.

Investigataing Art by Moy Keightley
Investigataing Art by Moy Keightley

I just needed some instruction, easy enough for a child to understand. That was the exact way I needed to explain the difficult topic. The adult section’s books were not interesting, had no pictures, and were too wordy.

Back to the library computer, to look for a book on the topic in the children’s section. It’s a trick I’ve used before–and needed again. Well-written children’s books stick to the essentials, and use step-by-step instruction. The author of a well-planned children’s book will take a difficult topic and break it down into easy to understand pieces, logically arranged. So easy an adult can understand it.

I found what I needed by doing research in the children’s section. Because our library has self-checkout, I didn’t get asked any questions about grandchildren visiting. And now my clients will understand something difficult because I made it easy enough for a child to understand.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach, who owns Quinncreative.  She is a trainer in business writing and keeps a raw art journal.