Clear Communication Rule #1: Know what you’re talking about

October 19, 2011 - By

Communication is simply conveying a message to someone. There’s probably a lot of caveats and tangents you could go on in complicating and qualifying this definition, but that’s the root of it. In fact, that’s the bare minimum.

I just received a call from my bank. You know the one, some telemarketer is excited to tell you about some great new program that’s being offered. This was a great example of bare minimum communication.

The call came as I lay on the couch dead tired from a very busy couple days at work. The caller’s verbal rhythm betrayed the fact that her half of the conversation was entirely scripted. I interrupted what sounded like the beginning of a very long monologue to tell her that I wasn’t interested. I gave a flimsy reason, which evidently had a scripted reply (kind of like the worst Choose Your Own Adventure story ever written)

“This program actually doesn’t related to finances and could be of great benefit to you.”

“Can you sum it up for me in one sentence?”

“Um… if you’re not interested I’d rather just leave it at that.”

I was glad. This means either she didn’t care, or she didn’t understand it well enough to explain it without her script in a simple sentence. I saved us both some time and agony.

There’s a lot of noise in the world, and we are constantly bombarded with messages. If you have something to say make sure you can sum it up. If you can’t explain the gist of something in 140 characters (or a single sentence) then you don’t understand it well enough.

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This post was written by ArleyM