I have, over the last week or so, been sharing some of my business (added later) communication learnings with a younger colleague. These sound very simple, but aren’t, and can make all the difference as I found, sometimes after having paid the price for overlooking.
- Say more in less.
- Close the loop.
- Don’t presume, ask instead.
- Make things idiot proof.
- Your tone will decide the results.
In this post, I am taking up “Say more in less” and will try and complete the entire series in this week. Hope this helps some of my other younger readers.
There are several different mistakes that all of us make in our business (added later) communication:
- When writing, we like to ramble on, write so much text that even we can’t remember where we started. What was the message again? Hmmm, it got lost somewhere.
I found, and have made it a standard practice, to edit all text after writing it and if possible, share it with someone else who I could trust with further editing. I find that 20 percent less text, without losing any value from the content, is not very difficult and even less when you then hand it over to another editor. Try it, you will find message clarity and retention will be far higher.
- Similarly, Open-ended sometimes prolongs the process. Think through and then communicate. Sample this conversation over text on a mobile:
Q: Can we meet sometime?
Q: How about next week?
A: Sure, should be possible.
Q: Ok, thanks, how about Wednesday?
A: I am out of town on Wednesday.
Q: Oh, how about Thursday then?
A: Yes, that should be fine.
Q: Ok, where do we meet?
A: You say.
Q: Costa, GK?
Q: What time?
A: You say
A: Ok, what is the context?
Phew. Of course I am exaggerating a bit, but you get the point.
How about this instead?
- Q: Hi, I was wondering if we can meet sometime next week. Need some business advice from you. Does Wednesday, 3.30 p.m. Costa at GK work for you?
- A: Hi, sure we can meet. I am traveling Wednesday but Thursday same time, same place should be fine.
Write in your best learnings.
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