When you communicate with your team or your peers are you explicit? Clear communication is explicit without being rude or abusive. If you are explicit in your direction or communication people know what you want and expect.
Keys to being explicit:
- State what you want
- Avoid would, could, should
- Be specific in the results expected
- Keep it simple
- Leave room for options to accomplish the task
- Give reasons why it matters
- Acknowledge fears, issues
- Test for understanding
By taking the time to be clear, concise and specific about your message you will be more effective in getting things done. More time in planning what you say will reduce the amount of follow-up and reiteration of the message. It can feel hard and harsh to be very explicit in what you say, however, people are not mind readers so if you have something specific in mind you need to state it clearly. Your team will thank you for making sure they understand what is expected.
Benefits of being explicit:
- Less time explaining again what is needed
- Better results / improved quality
- Less rework
- Increased understanding
- Improved productivity
If you master being explicit without dictating then you will be seen as a fantastic communicator and someone who can get things done. This is a great career tool to have and will serve you well as you move up. We are all too busy to have to deal with fuzzy communication that requires follow-up questions, rework and delays waiting for clarification.
Ask yourself the following questions to see if becoming clearer and more explicit will help your team produce better results.
- How will being more explicit help your organization?
- Are you frequently asked for additional information?
- How frequently do you have to ask someone to rework an item?
If your answers show you that there is room for improvement then the next question is:
How can I improve to increase clarity for my team?