Succinctness in Conversations:
Time tends to pass much quicker when you’re talking than when you’re listening. Talking, specifically about yourself, releases dopamine and it can be easy to lose track of how long you’ve gone and how boring you’ve become. It doesn’t take much to go overboard, research indicates that after just 20-30 seconds, the listener’s mind will begin to wander. A clear sign of executive presence is the ability to be succinct. To me, succinctness is the unique blend of clear, powerful language and brevity. Check out this article for a handy strategy to manage your verbosity, and consider the following tips before you engage in your next business conversation.
- It’s a dialogue not a monologue. As you talk, pause to check in with the listener. Something as simple as, “am I explaining this ok?” or, “how does that sound to you?”, can provide a moment for interaction that propels the conversation forward. Remember, good conversation includes a healthy back and forth exchange.
- Be precise. You likely have a myriad things you want to communicate in a conversation, but the listener will not absorb everything you want to say. If you can, determine in advance what the most important points are and consider how you can state them most clearly. Think of it like the headline for a newspaper article, or the topic sentence in an essay.
- Use tone, pauses, and restatement to signal important information. If most people stay tuned in for 40 seconds in good times, it’s probably closer to 20 seconds when the delivery is monotone. Use the vocal tools you have to make it easy for your listener to stay engaged and follow along.
These approaches will make your communication clearer, faster, and more efficient. Save the free associating and meandering conversations for those times when you need to engage in an exploration of ideas or free flowing brainstorms. If it will be a brainstorm, be sure to communicate your expectations for the conversation on the front end. Most wasted time in meetings comes from a lack of discipline around communication.
2020 has been a turbulent year to say the least. With everything going on I thought this article was a nice reprieve and a chance to focus on something a little lighter. Happiness! This article outlines seven habits that the happiest people practice. What can you add to your repertoire?
Question to Ponder:
Can we disagree on a topic or an idea and still maintain civility and common goals?
I think there is too much discord in the news for it to be truly informational. I recall that in the not too distant past the ideas of one group could be considered and discussed without turning the opposition in to an enemy that must be destroyed. Are you able to understand ideas that are different from your own, without vilifying those with a different perspective?