What is the KISS principle? Can you apply it in every field? This MissionSelf post tries to find out.
Alexander Pope had once said, “There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.” The KISS principle is based on the same idea. KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Other variations are Keep It Simple and Straightforward, Keep It Simple and Short or Keep It Sweet and Simple. Thus, the principle says that when you keep things simple, you never tend to encounter complexities. Things with structured logic are always easy to comprehend. They connect easily with the person in front and are always true in nature. The following article shall tell you why you should implement this principle in business, communication, writing, designing or every other aspect of life.
In Self Development
Eric Berne developed a social psychology technique named Transactional Analysis, in the year 1970. The transactional analysis is based on three different ego states or the mental postures that are unconsciously adopted and used by an individual while interacting with or reacting to the situations. This technique can help the individuals to grow and develop positivity in them. Eric Berne had put forth a theory which says that a personality has three components or ego states: Parent, Child and Adult. The combination of all three makes a person full of complexities.
In the parent state, a person tends to mimic a parental figure. He may scold or put restrictions on others.
In the child state, a person actually interacts with the situations as a child would i.e. spontaneously, impulsively with the moods thrown in for the color. The reactions and responses he gives are those of a child. He may suddenly smile, if he is joyous or may cry if things don’t happen according to his will.
Whereas, in the adult state, a person is more likely to handle a situation analytically and logically. He is more objective and goal oriented. If he is shown his mistakes, instead of throwing tantrums or start sulking, he will evaluate his actions and will try to remedy the problem, if any.
When two individuals A and B (irrespective of age) communicate or transact with each other, then one may find that A and B are communicating by shifting through the Adult, Parent, Child ego states. The different combinations of these is what flavors the communications, relationships and interactions between them. The transactional analysis focuses on improving or strengthening the Adult ego state in an individual, so that, he can take problems in his strides, solve them and move on, rather than scold every other person around him, or start pouting or crying. Unless this ego state or the mental posture is mastered, an individual’s personal development is incomplete as it is also applicable to the communications one keeps having with himself or herself all time.
Adult Ego State and Kiss Principle
Being able to interact through the adult state all the time goes a long way when it comes to actually applying this principle. Today, everything in the world has got numerous alternatives. The decision to choose the best among them rests with the people. Psychologists say that inability to do so, is the reason behind the growing confusion, chaos and mess all over the world. The principle along with the aspects of transactional analysis can simplify things to a great extent. Psychologists say that the simpler, objective and logical the thought process, the better is the personality. Hence, the importance of being simple and straightforward cannot be ignored. Thus, you must understand that a person who is simple in every sense is true and real. He is always loved by all because of his crystal clear persona. So, the theory of transactional analysis can be applied in business, communication, writing, designing, self development and every other aspect in human life. That way, you will be able to see a confident you!
Who likes to play with difficulties? I am sure, nobody does. The KISS principle is of a great importance when it comes to business which has employees as one of the main resources. Usually, the simplest of solutions are often less traversed. A businessman must adopt simple measures to get things done from others. That is the basis of management. The principle applies to all the activities of business like planning, controlling, forecasting, organizing or staffing. When you are working on a project, make sure you use the most basic and fundamental ways to work on it. Obviously, simple procedures are going to produce simple outputs. Once you attain the basic goal, then you can think about all the extras. If you are in a business that deals with software, then you must know that the greatest of the codes were written in the simplest possible ways. Keeping things simple in any business will reduce the room for any errors. It will not only make maintenance easy but will also keep it fresh and healthy in the long run. Employees can be handled in a better way if the foundation of a business is simple. Hence, the principle can tackle a lot of problems at work if you implement it.
John Powell says, “Communication works for those who work at it.” Isn’t that true? Did you ever like to listen to a speech which kept on revolving around a topic and never really struck you? Of course not. A person who is modest, humble and simple while talking is always loved by all. Hence,this principle plays a vital role in communication. When a person communicates in a simple and straightforward manner, he easily bonds with the listener. On a personal front, if you ever have to give a bad news to a close friend, how will you do it? Will you beat around the bush or pour it out at once? The real challenge lies in implementing the KISS principle without being rude or blunt. A simple speech is always simple to modify on the eleventh hour. It is always easy to make any last minute changes when the basis itself is short and simple. Hence, to have an effective communication, let your speech be precise, straightforward and simple. I am sure, you’ll be amazed to analyze the results!
Jules Renard says, “Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.” If you are into reading a lot of books, then you must have come to know that sweet and simple books often connect really well with the reader. A book for which you need to refer a dictionary now and then, is hardly read till the last page. Whereas, a book which is straight, simple and crystal clear is many a time, read more than once. Thus, you can implement the KISS principle in writing as well. If you are writing a letter to a friend, it has to be loving enough to fetch a reply. For that, it has to be written in the simplest possible way. Only then it can sound warm and straight from the heart. As a writer, you need to think about the target audience who will be reading your work. If they don’t comprehend it well, then what is the point in writing it? A perfect piece of written art would be the one which is simple and yet, contains a perfect gist of all the requirements. Thus, the KISS principle works wonders if implemented well while writing.
Designing is a vast field. Starting from your own clothes, anything in the world can now be termed as a designer piece these days! The KISS principle can be applied here as well. When it comes to designing a fabric, a plain colored simple dress always leaves a mark. An over-dressed person is usually ignored by all. Hence, keeping things simple will make you look natural and real. On the other hand, if you are about to design a software, then the most important thing that you should concentrate on is the user interface. If it allows a user to click on a variety of buttons and eventually lands him up on the same page, he is sure to shut it down at once. Hence, the simpler you keep it, the better it works. Even when you are designing a website, a simple homepage always attracts a lot of readerships. Brian Reed says, “Everything is designed. Few are designed well.”
Lastly, a simple way to implement the KISS principle is to simply make it happen! Once you decide to put things in a simple manner, you no longer need to worry about success. It shall follow. After all, every individual wishes to be happy and contented! I hope you are motivated to apply this principle in every walk of your life. I am sure, it will fetch you your targets!