Empathy Trumps Expertise

Empathy Trumps Expertise

Matt Church

Matt Church

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Empathy Trumps Expertise

What you know matters a lot; connecting to others so that they value it matters more.

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The Thought Leaders Curriculum helps experts unpack what they know, their expertise, via a Pink Sheet. We wrote a whole book dedicated to just that; it’s pink and called Think.

If the Pink Sheet helps you capture your expertise, the Green Sheet enables you to connect empathetically to those who may buy your expertise. Balancing expertise and empathy is critical to being commercially smart as a thought leader. Lots of ‘knowing what to do’ is wasted if you can’t do so in a way that respects where people are at and where they want to go next.

Expertise alone is often tone-deaf, missing the social and behavioural cues required to form a connection. Sometimes expertise is too surgical, practical, and matter-of-fact. Taking time to walk in the shoes of others is commercially smart, and this process is precisely what the Green Sheet does.

High-level, here is the process:

The Pink Sheet and Green Sheet share the same mimetic architecture; they run from the concrete to the abstract. You can see this by dividing a piece of paper in portrait mode into a bottom third, middle third, and top third. In the bottom third, we connect to the problems and aspirations of our clients; in the middle, we state the core value proposition of our insights and work. In the top third, we demonstrate visually through a model and an aligned metaphor the journey one might take if they applied what you share.

Green Sheet

The Thought Leaders Curriculum Green Sheet

Green Sheets allow you, as a subject matter expert, to connect empathetically to the experience of your clients. A Green Sheet’s job is not to teach your methodology or show your process, this is what your Pink Sheets are designed to do. The Green Sheet’s job is to communicate the value of your work and ‘why’ someone might want to work with you.

If you are familiar with our Pink Sheet Process and the goal of creating curriculums with 52 core ideas and insights, then it is helpful to consider the 1:52 ratio of Green to Pink—one Green Sheet to sell a complete body of work, 52 Pink Sheets.
If Pink Sheets capture intellectual property, Green Sheets articulate commercial opportunity. Pink Sheets demonstrate your ‘what’ and ‘how’, and Green Sheets communicate your ‘why’ and ‘if’.

What you know matters a lot; connecting what you know to others so that they value it matters more.


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