Clear, Concise, Conscious

By on Sep 22, 2020 in News

Though working from home is novel in many ways, it has its disadvantages: you may feel disconnected from your peers, out of the loop with leadership and frustrated that you don’t have access to all the tools you’d have at the office. Add those concerns on top of a challenging work-life balance and we’ve got a recipe for short tempers, cluttered minds and poor communication.

Yet in the age of social distancing, strong communication skills reassert their essential value. If you find that your team is struggling to stay amicable, focused and encouraged, consider the three Cs: clear, concise and conscious communication.


Clear intention

First, identify what you want to accomplish. Geoffrey James, a specialist in sales communications at Sales Source, emphasizes that all communication has intention. “Before you initiate any communication, ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’ Understanding and focusing on the ‘why’ allows you to avoid side issues and ratholes that might otherwise obscure the situation.”

Clear communication also encourages us to be specific and detailed in the first point of contact. This can minimize confusion and time-consuming follow-ups. Avoid assumptions, state your objective and provide your contact with the necessary information or resources needed to fulfill the objective.

Think you’re overdoing it on the details? If you’re introducing an unfamiliar topic or content, you’re probably not. A Stanford University study reveals that speakers grossly overestimate how much listeners understand. When you’re dealing with a new project or concept, it may be essential to overcommunicate.

Concise language

While it is important to give adequate details, it is equally important to be concise. There are no hard and fast rules for this delicate balance. The amount of detail needed will depend on your contact’s familiarity with the content. But there are steps that you can take to be efficient with your communication.

In writing, it is especially important to avoid hyperbole, downplaying serious situations and sarcasm. Written communication doesn’t include tone of voice, facial expression and body language to give context to what you’re saying. Any figurative language increase the chances of miscommunication.

Additionally, communication specialist Deep Patel recommends focusing on communication that will garner respect rather than laughs.

“It can be tempting to communicate with others in a lighthearted way,” says Patel. “But remember that the most successful communicators are those who have earned respect rather than laughs.”

Conscious approach

There are entire schools of study around conscious communication. To simplify a few concepts, keep two basic points in mind: no one can read your mind, and everyone is fighting personal battles.

No one knows what you need unless you clearly and concisely explain it to them. When possible, empower them with resources to fulfill the objective correctly the first time around. You also cannot read their minds, so avoid making assumptions about their intentions, intelligence or character.

Secondly, everyone is trying to adjust to these turbulent times. Financial uncertainty, health concerns, social injustice, longing for absent loved ones and frustrations within the household are just a few issues that contribute to irregular or unfavorable behavior. Keep that in mind when communicating with others. Proceed with kindness, compassion, empathy and patience.

Undoubtedly, even the best attempts at conscious communication can fail. It’s important to learn what went wrong and address it before relationships and work suffer. Take responsibility for your feelings and identify what exchange triggered the upset, advises The Chopra Center. When applicable, note what you did not receive from the exchange and then ask for what you want.

“The key principle of conscious communication is making it as easy as possible for another person to meet your need by asking for the specific behavior that will fulfill it,” advises Chopra. “When people feel vulnerable, they commonly compensate by becoming demanding and threatening, believing that forcefulness will increase the likelihood of getting what they want. This approach often has the opposite effect. A demand implies that the recipient is of lesser value than the giver and, therefore, that the giver has the right to dictate to others.”

 Get tips on how to work together efficiently and effectively during social distancing.