Jeremy Côté

The Little Details

As you get better at a craft, you start to notice details that others don’t. This is simply the result of doing the activity for so long that you’re intimately familiar with how it works. If you’re used to drawing comics, you might notice how the dialogue, pacing, and perspectives are done in each panel. For those who aren’t as familiar with the craft, they will notice good work, but not the details. You, on the other hand, can see them.

The little details will seem obvious to you, and that’s a problem.

It’s a problem because we have the annoying habit of thinking that things which are obvious to us are obvious to everyone. We don’t share them, because surely everyone else knows!

Except of course, they don’t.

When you fail to share an idea which seems “obvious”, you’re wasting an opportunity to teach others what you’ve learned. This is both bad for you and for others. You lose an opportunity to teach, and they lose valuable information.

If you’re like me, you may have the following question: What if the people think the idea is obvious?

The answer is simple. If you’re teaching through materials, they will just ignore it (no harm done). It’s a bit trickier if you’re teaching in person. There, you need to do more work to make sure that these people have a need for your information.

In either case, the message is the same. Don’t keep ideas to yourself because you think they’re obvious. Of course they’re obvious to you, you know them! Let others decide if the idea is obvious to them. You don’t have to be the judge of that. Plus, teaching gives you an opportunity to get better at communicating, a skill which is always useful to improve.

The little details may not seem crucial, but they often hide insights that could help many people. Do what you can to share them.