Coaching the Know-It-All

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One of the biggest challenges in public relations, and often in business at large, is coaching or counseling an executive who knows just about everything, or at least believes that to be the case.  It’s not usual for such a person to say, “I don’t need any coaching; I’m an expert in my subject.”

But, since such people usually have large egos and are not accustomed to being critiqued or in any way found lacking, it often requires some gentle diplomacy to get them to understand Fact #1: Knowledge alone is not communication; it’s the starting point for successful communication.

Communication is not what you know or say; it’s what the other person takes away.  It’s analogous to basketball: the key to winning is not how many shots a team takes; it’s how many go in.  In communication, the proper measure is how many points “stick” with the target listener.

Ken Scudder, (full disclosure: my son and long-standing business associate) has penned a detailed and insightful column on the subject for the latest issue of PRSA’s Strategies and Tactics magazine.  Here’s the link: