I love helping people talk to each other. The mechanics of talking are easy for most folks, but then pesky Jedi mind junk often keeps us from getting our messages across effectively. We may not even realize it until nothing happens. No one participates, no one refers us, no one asks questions, no one does what we ask …the list of nothings can be long. There are many facets to this and today we’re going to look at explaining and dreading.
So. Many. Words.
Stop explaining and get to the point. When you bury important information and questions under a mountain of explanation it’s too much, and most people will stop listening or reading because they don’t care—they’re over you. Or people will be distracted wondering what the point is, and they won’t hear your explanation. Ask or share first-I learned this from a great corporate trainer long ago. People feel too busy for a bunch of words so state your case or request and then be prepared to share additional information and answer questions. Side note: It is possible to be succinct without being harsh and it comes with practice. Tip! Let 2-3 people close to you know that you’re working on being succinct and get their feedback. As you become more concise, then focus on softening the edges. Don’t forget relationships! Building strong relationships will allow you to get to the point more freely because these folks know, like, and trust you. Not as much ‘splainin’ required.
We bury things under words when we dread the response. Owners of a fitness studio decided to raise their unlimited monthly membership rate. They did not reach out to these members individually, nor did they have a multi-week messaging campaign. What did they do? They wrote the information in the middle of a paragraph in the middle of a jam-packed newsletter. Many members didn’t realize the change until they looked at their credit card bill and got angry. Some let it go, some stopped the unlimited membership, and many left the studio. Trainers and admin staff were not prepared to handle face-to-face confrontations; they didn’t know what they could offer and felt helpless. Crap Storm. Burying information because you dread the response is not the answer. People see right through this, so you might as well lay it all out to everyone affected in a straightforward fashion. Role-playing, practicing in front of a mirror, and jotting down talking points are effective ways to help you prepare for questions and reactions.
I’ll be writing more about Jedi mind junk and how it gets in the way of effective communication. Stay tuned! Want my blogs delivered to your inbox with an additional insight? Subscribe and get Tuesday Tidbits!