Communication is one of the most foundational and important aspects of every area of our lives both personal and professional. Improvements in your skill set* in this one area can have positive results in a variety of other areas. Many disagreements, conflicts and extra work in our lives usually begin as a simple communication error. There are many communication mistakes that lead to conflict but today we are just going to focus on “over- complication”.
A simple definition of communication is the expression and interpretation of a message or idea. Our goal in communicating to others is to get them to understand and idea, concept or instructions. If they fail to understand our message or meaning then conflict arises. What most of us don’t realizes is that the burden of proof belongs to the prosecution; it is the job of the communicator to make sure the message is clear and understandable so that the receiver can grasp the concepts or act on the information. We often get frustrated with individuals who just don’t “get it” and we view them as inept. The greatest leaders, communicators and presenters are those that are able to take complex thoughts, ideas, instructions and concepts and make them simple and understandable. The trick is to not over explain or over teach but just give the listener what they need to know to be successful and enough understanding to take action.
Enter twitter the best real world practice you can get in simple communications. Twitter communications are unique because they are limited to 140 characters, this very limited range makes you choose your words very carefully because they are in short supply. Tweets are not full of filler words, over explaining, repetitiveness or clutter; they are simple to the point ideas and thoughts that are often very well received by the reader. What if you viewed all your communications like tweets? When talking to someone or giving a presentation are you adding words or ideas that are not necessary and there for confusing? They say that the average person can grasp 3-4 “points” from a single encounter** If our messages to others are unclear perhaps it is because we are giving them too much information. When you remove the unnecessary you allow the necessary to speak. Practice tweeting in everyday life and keep your messages, short, simple and to the point to improve your daily communications.
*Communication is indeed a skill and like all other skills needs to be constantly worked on and improved if we hope to master it. Good communication takes work and does not just happen
**encounter can be a conversation or a 2 day seminar