One Good Idea for Crisp Communication

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Communication | 0 comments

One click or two?

Upon occasion, I’ve been known to use too many words, to share too many details.  Recently, I read a hint worth passing along.  Take a lesson from web sites and think about “one click” versus “double click” levels of  communicating.

In an article in the Boston Globe on job interviewing, Elaine Varelas suggested that job applicants answer first questions at the one click level and only go to the double click level if the interviewer probes deeper.  It’s a great metaphor for crisper communication.  Good web construction gives just enough information, and provides access to more detail and further data for the reader who needs it.

Have you ever been the victim of a run-on story?  Someone comes into your office and just launches into a story and you don’t even know why, but you can’t get a word in to stop them and ask.  They don’t even stop talking when you try to inject a question.  Talking, (and writing) isn’t always communicating. You have to be aware of what your listener or reader needs or wants, at any given moment.

Try using the website metaphor as a way to improve your own communication, whether spoken or written.

Why are you here:  Websites tell what they’re about right on the home page.   Do the same for your listener – explain or frame up your reason for speaking.  For example, if you just start telling me about your new client, I won’t know why I am listening.  You’d help me listen more effecively if you say: “I’d like your ideas about our product line so I can more be more effective in helping my new client meet their needs.”  Then I know what to listen for.

Select content judiciously: Websites have segmented topics and hierarchy of information.  Do you need to take me through every page at first?  Which page is most important?

Choose one click or two:  Good websites know which information belongs up front and  what can come later. To improve your communication, consider sharing the main bullet points before telling me all the details.

Stay on point:  Too many clicks on a website and before you know it you’ve wasted a lot of time.  Don’t do that to your listener or reader, without mutual agreement



Build trust through openness
Break down silos
Lead through influence
Build support
Understand leadership boundaries
Scan for content and process
Develop skills in others
Examine your assumptions
Be intentional about your presence
Complete a natural cycle of work
Learn to say no
Balance strategic and relational interactions
Evaluate your work



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