Over the past few months we have had several executives say (in almost these exact words), “I’m getting grief for not communicating effectively—but I don’t have time to explain every thought!” We are in a time where every person we talk with describes feeling frazzled, overwhelmed with demands, and say they barely have a minute to breathe, let alone pause to consider how to communicate with the people in their lives. We understand the sentiment—it can be a challenge to take the time to consider who you need to communicate with, what that communication needs to be, and how that communication needs to happen—but it’s worth it.
This week, we’d like you to take a few moments to consider your communications with others and how you might improve them:
Who are the people you need to communicate with—to close a loop, to move an idea forward, to get agreement, or to ensure your kids get picked up after school? Who needs to hear from you so that things move forward more effectively, efficiently, and with greater engagement? (You don’t have control over how someone will hear you—but being thoughtful and deliberate increases your chances of being understood.)
What do you need to communicate? What are the critical informational nuggets? What is the tone, emotion, and energy they need from you? What is the question you want answered? What is the action you’d like to see taken?
What is the best way to communicate so that your message is clear, and to make it likely it’ll be heard as you mean it to be heard? This question matters—we all use email and texts and social media to communicate with people. They are incredible tools, but they need to be used once you have decided they will communicate your message clearly and increase the likelihood that you will be heard as you intended.
Pausing to consider who needs your conscious communication, what you want to say to be clear, and how you want to say it so it will be heard will increase your impact and influence in ways that will surprise you.