Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Congratulate your visitors

When you're a child, everyone around you is very encouraging and forgiving.  If my toddler tells me he drew an apple, no matter how unrecognizable, I tell him its a great apple.  If he can't get his shoes on, I encourage him to keep trying.  

As we get older, we expect more out of other people and ourselves.  These expectations make it harder for us to succeed at new things.  Anything less than good is a failure and there is nobody standing behind us encouraging us to try again.  

Using industry terms can give you ownership of your field, but it makes your visitors feel like they have failed just because they don't understand.  Don't punish your visitors for seeking out an expert and remember to be encouraging.  Admitting that you need help takes a lot of humility.  You've worked hard to become an expert, and your visitors have overcome a lot to find you.  Congratulate them for taking the first step and trying something new.