Today’s reading “How to Become a Better Communicator” comes from the pen of Bob Kantor and apeard at bio.com. (Note, the original title had the words “with your IT staff” appended but the article really apples to everyone.) Kantor is an IT management coach and consultant, specializing in improving IT leadership effectiveness.
The article makes two key points:
1. Don’t bury the lead.
2. It’s not about your message, it’s about the audience’s beliefs.
Too many times every one of us gets caught up in putting forth our story, telling everything we know about the subject, without providing the headline – thus, “Don’t bury the lead.” Newspapers get this. They know that the headline – a good one tells the whole story in abbreviated form – has to give you enough information to capture the reader. Otherwise, the story is not read. The same is true about the position papers we write, our proposals, our email, and our presentations. So, take a look at your communications and get the lead out front.
As to Kantor’s second point, when we communicate, we often take a lot of time crafting and refining out message until it is “perfectly clear,” that is clear to the writer. However, our intended audience is most likely to see the situation differently, they won’t have our perspective, knowledge, and beliefs. Here, we need to really take the time to understand the audience’s point of view. Without that, our objective will rarely be reached.
Taken individually, each of these simple techniques will improve the effectiveness of our communications. And, combined, they will improve our effectiveness and results.
Give it a try in the coming week. . . . jim